We’ve published the 2016 results of the National Customer Service Survey on Banking. This ongoing research tracks the customer service quality at Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo in a continuous data set going back to 2011.
The most striking change in our survey scores in 2016 is the continued decline in Citi’s metrics, which have declined substantially over the past two years. Citi now ranks last in eight of the nine survey scores we track.
We don’t know why Citi has seen such a drop in our survey, but we speculate that it might be related to Citi’s partnership with Costco. It’s been widely reported in the media that onboarding the Costco customers took longer and was more of a challenge than had been expected. If Citi had been diverting resources from its regular customer service to manage that transition, that would explain the results we’re seeing. If that’s the case, we would also expect to see Citi’s numbers rebound now that the Costco transition is complete.
The other interesting result this year is a case of something we didn’t see: We saw no decline in survey scores at Wells Fargo despite the company’s fraudulent account scandal. We think this is because of two factors: first, news of the fraudulent accounts broke midway through 2016, meaning that about half our survey sample was collected before it became widely known. Second, our survey is intended to measure the quality of customer service and not reputation. Unless a specific Wells Fargo customer in our survey had been personally impacted by the company’s fraud, he or she isn’t likely to rate the customer service any lower as a result of the news.
The executive summary of this report is available for free download, and the full data including customer comments and interview recordings is available by subscription.