People prefer branches over Internet for bank communication

October 28, 2009

Chicago (October 28, 2009)–Even in the age of tweets, texts and friend requests, there’s something comforting about face-to-face contact. A new survey from Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, shows people would still rather contact their bank at a branch than online or through email.
Two in three adults (65%) say they prefer to get up close and personal at a bank branch to communicate, while three in seven (43%) like the phone for its real person, real time qualities. Only 44% of survey respondents say they like logging on to a bank’s secure website, while just one-third (34%) choose email as a preferred method of bank communication.
“When it comes down to it, people still crave personal contact when communicating with banks. Talking in person or over the phone brings on feelings of familiarity and confidence, which are especially important to consumers in light of the financial crisis,” states Susan Wolfe, VP of financial services at Mintel Comperemedia.
However, websites and email remain important avenues for customer-to-bank contact. Young adults, especially, are likely to prefer online and email communications when they want to contact their banks. Over half of Echo Boomers and Gen Xers (52% each) say they like reaching their bank through a secure website.
When Mintel Comperemedia asked survey respondents how they prefer their banks to contact them—mail, email and in person were near ties (43%, 42% and 40%, respectively).
“Though people have clear preferences for how they like to contact their banks, they aren’t as opinionated about how their banks contact them,” says Susan Wolfe. “Banks need to be mindful that every customer has different communication preferences, so they should offer multiple points of contact.”

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