Customer Satisfaction Survey for a Bank

We need to measure customer satisfaction differences between business units at different locations.  How can ARI help us accomplish this objective?  Please give an example.

 

A local bank with five branches in the Tulsa metro area contacted ARI because they wanted to measure customer satisfaction differences between their locations for their wealth management services.  ARI interviewed key management from the main office to obtain a better understanding of the situation and used this information to develop the following research objective:  Determine if customer satisfaction varies by departments between the branches and if differences do exist,  determine their statistical significance.

 

Since the research objective required satisfaction ratings from the bank’s customers, a survey was selected as the obvious method for collecting this information.  An online survey was recommended because it eliminated the costs associated with conventional survey methods, such as printing, postage and data entry.  In addition to these advantages, online surveys offer better response rates compared to questionnaires sent through the mail.

 

For the next phase of the project, ARI developed a questionnaire to measure customer satisfaction for specific banking services.  After gaining approval from the client, the questionnaire was pretested with a small group of representative respondents.  Subsequent revisions were preformed as needed until a final design was accepted by the client.  Multiple questions pertaining to wealth management services offered by the bank are used in this example.

 

For this project the relevant population was defined as customers of the bank so ARI assisted the marketing director in drafting a survey invitation on the bank’s letterhead.  Participants were offered an incentive to participate with the assurance that their identity would not be disclosed to the bank.  Survey participation for any project is essential for the marketing research profession, therefore a participant’s anonymity and privacy must be protected.  The survey invitation directed participants to the ARI website and offered them contact information in case they had any questions or concerns.

 

Sample size has a significant impact on the cost of any project, therefore ARI used a proven statistical formula to calculate the correct sample size based on estimated variance, the bank’s desired accuracy and the level of confidence needed for an estimate of the true population value. Variance and accuracy are estimated with a percentage and the level of confidence is a value used to estimate the distribution characteristics of the sample.  These values enable us to scientifically determine the correct sample size for a survey.  For this project the correct sample size was calculated to be 600 total participants with an accuracy level of ± 4%.

 

The selection method is a very important component of the research project because the selection technique, not the size of the sample, determines a sample’s representativeness.  In other words, all of the bank’s customers should have an equal probability of being selected into the sample, therefore a random sampling procedure was used to draw the survey participants from the bank’s computerized database.  This sampling technique ensures an unbiased estimate of the true population value.  In spite of the best incentives, many people simply refuse to participate in surveys.  This situation is always an issue so the total sample size was proportionally increased  to 1,800 because of the anticipated nonresponse.


Survey invitations were equally divided into five batches of 360 and mailed to customers selected at random from each of the bank’s branches.  (5x360=1,800)  An average response rate of 33% yielded 600 completed surveys within 10 days.  Data analysis was performed with advanced statistical software to obtain the information needed for the project’s research objective.  In other words, how can we identify significant customer satisfaction differences between the banks in various locations?  For this example, an analysis of variance technique was used to compare average satisfaction ratings between the banks.  The results of the project are shown below.

 

RESULTS:

 

Note: Satisfaction measurement for the following examples is based on a 5-point scale where:

1=Not Satisfied, 2= Somewhat Satisfied, 3=Satisfied, 4=Quite Satisfied, 5=Very Satisfied

 

(cell values represent average ratings)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS:

 

The tables shown above clearly illustrate customer satisfaction differences between the bank’s divisions at five different locations.  The column labeled “N” represents the number of customers from each branch who participated in the survey.  Ratings within the same numbered column are not considered statistically different.  In other words, the satisfaction ratings from the Southern Hills and Midtown branches are not considered significantly different with regard to their performance for insurance services .  On the other hand, average satisfaction ratings which appear in different numbered columns with a Sig. value of 1.0 represent significant performance differences.

 

The results of the wealth management survey indicate significant customer satisfaction differences between the banks in four key service areas; estate planning, financial planning, investment management and brokerage services.  Customer satisfaction differences pertaining to insurance services by branch were not statistically significant.  In other words, satisfaction with the bank’s insurance department is relatively consistent between the branches.

 

The Southern Hills branch garnered the lowest satisfaction rating for estate planning services.  This difference is also statistically significant when this rating is compared to the other branches who participated in the survey.  Significant differences pertaining to satisfaction ratings for estate planning services between the other locations were not present. 

 

The Midtown branch garnered the lowest satisfaction rating for investment management services.  This difference is statistically significant when this rating is compared to the other branches who participated in the survey.  Significant differences pertaining to satisfaction ratings for financial planning services between the other locations were not present, even though the  Broken Arrow branch garnered an average rating of 3.46.

 

The Midtown branch also garnered the lowest satisfaction rating for financial planning services.  Although the difference is statistically significant, its relative magnitude is not considered meaningful according to accepted guidelines.  Significant differences pertaining to satisfaction ratings for financial planning services between the other locations were not present.

 

The Downtown branch garnered the lowest satisfaction rating for online brokerage services.  This difference is also statistically significant when this rating is compared to the other branches who participated in the survey.  Significant differences pertaining to satisfaction ratings for online brokerage services between the other locations were not present.


RECOMMENDATIONS:   

 

  • Conduct a focus group with additional clients selected at random from the Downtown branch and determine the specific reasons attributed to the sub standard brokerage satisfaction ratings.
  • Conduct a telephone survey with additional clients selected at random from the Southern Hills branch to determine the specific reasons attributed to the sub standard estate planning satisfaction ratings.
  • Implement cross training exercises between the Broken Arrow and Midtown investment management divisions.  (the Broken Arrow branch is the example to follow)
  • Monitor the performance of the financial planning division of the Midtown branch.   

What you have just read is a brief example of applied marketing research.  ARI will never reveal the identity of a client or the actual results of a project under any circumstances without a client’s consent.  This example was developed to help potential clients fathom applications of marketing research which might be useful to their profession. 

 




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