The satisfaction level of Australian business banking customers fell to 66.1% in March, down by 2.9% points over the last six months. This level is well below the 82.9% rating given by personal customers (which was an increase of 0.5% points over the same period). Of the big four, Westpac leads with business customers (67.4%) and CBA leads with personal customers (82.5%).
These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Business Single Source survey of around 10,000 interviews with business decision-makers, and the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey of over 50,000 people pa.
Major banks’ business customer satisfaction well below personal customers
The satisfaction level of each of the major bank’s business customers is much lower than that of their personal customers. The biggest gap in personal and business banking satisfaction among the big four is 21.6% points at the ANZ, with a personal banking satisfaction rate of 79.0% and a business banking satisfaction rate of 57.4%. The big four bank with the smallest gap is Westpac, where the satisfaction of the business customers is 13.8% points below their personal customers.
Business and Consumer Banking Satisfaction
Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Satisfaction Report, October-Mar 2015, n=24,445. Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, October 2014 – March 2015, n=5,000.
Bendigo Bank has the highest satisfaction level among the major banks for business customers with 80.9%, but that is still below that of their personal customers (90.0%).
Increased focus on customer advocacy
There has been an increased focus by banks recently on achieving higher levels of advocacy among their customers. In order to increase the likelihood that customers will recommend their bank to others (advocacy), the level of satisfaction needs to be measured in terms of those who are “very satisfied” rather than simply “fairly satisfied”.
High Likelihood of Recommending Business Bank* by Satisfaction Level
Among business customers of the big four banks who are “very satisfied”, around 90% of them are “highly likely” to recommend their bank to others (scoring 8-10 on a 10-point scale). The best performer was Westpac, where 97.9% of its very satisfied business customers were highly likely to recommend them. Westpac was followed by ANZ (93.9%) and NAB (90.9%).
In contrast, the “fairly satisfied” customers were far less likely to recommend their banks, averaging less than 50%. Again, the highest was Westpac (53.3%), followed by ANZ (50.5%), CBA (46.7%) and NAB (45.1%).
As expected, the dissatisfied business customers of each of the big four banks were unlikely to recommend them, with the highest being the ANZ (14.0%) and the lowest Westpac (8.6%).
Banks scoring low on business customers being “very satisfied”
The level of very satisfied business customers is a critical measure that leads to a higher level of advocacy and has the potential to improve customer retention and share of wallet. The following chart shows that for most of the major banks, the level of very satisfied business customers is generally around 20%, well behind that of personal customers (around 35%).
Consumer and Business Banking Customers Who Are "Very Satisfied"
Source: Roy Morgan Research Consumer Satisfaction Report, October2014 – Mar 2015, n=24,445. Roy Morgan Research Business Single Source, October 2014 – March 2015, n=5,000.
The best performer of the major business banks is clearly Bendigo Bank with 46.1% of its business customers being very satisfied. The big four are all well behind this with the best being NAB (20.5% very satisfied), followed by Westpac (20.3%), ANZ (18.7%) and CBA (18.4%).
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research says:
“Although the overall level of business banking satisfaction has been improving over the last five years, it is still well below that of personal customers, who have also been showing improved satisfaction levels. Of particular significance is the fact that only around one in five business customers are very satisfied with their bank, compared with approximately one in three personal customers — which is also a low level.
“The much lower incidence of very satisfied business customers is a lost opportunity and as such should become an increasing focus of the major banks. Low levels of very satisfied business customers will not only be likely to impact on business growth and customer retention, but have the potential to negatively influence personal customer satisfaction and advocacy levels. This is due to the fact that there is a very close connection between the personal bank and business bank used by small business owners.
“With a generally increased focus by banks on retaining and growing business through recommendation or advocacy, an essential first step is to increase the proportion of very satisfied customers rather than placing equal value on them as on fairly satisfied customers. This applies to both the business and consumer banking sectors.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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