In our latest FI Spotlight we got the opportunity to speak with Jason Kincy, Marketing Director at Arvest Bank. In our Q&A below, Jason talks to us about the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, customer satisfaction and social media. Arvest Bank ranks highest both in the South Central Region and in the Southwest Region in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM. This is the fourth year that Arvest has been recognized with a regional award. Arvest has been ranked highest in satisfaction with retail banking in the Southwest (2010, 2011, 2012), Southeast (2009) and South Central (2010, 2012) regions.
Q: In a few sentences, can you tell me about Arvest Bank?
A: Arvest Bank operates more than 240 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a network of 16 locally managed banks, each with its own board of directors and management team. These banks serve customers in 90 communities with 12-hour weekday banking at most locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, asset and wealth management, life insurance, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest operates a mortgage company, asset management company, insurance division and mortgage servicing company.
Q: In the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, Arvest Bank scored among the best in all categories: overall satisfaction, product offerings, facility, account information, fees and account activities. What do you attribute to your success in scoring so high on the J.D. Power Rankings?
A: No bank is perfect and we have areas that we’re working hard to improve. Arvest focuses on providing many of the banking attributes that drive customer satisfaction. We operate a way that makes banking convenient no matter how the customer defines convenience – whether that’s at an extended hours branch location, on the phone, online or via mobile banking. When we do interact with customers on a personal transaction, our associates provide an efficient and courteous experience for the customer. These interaction experiences combined with fairly priced fees and an account lineup with options for everyone combine to create a satisfied customer.
Q: Do you have any advice for FI’s looking to raise their banking satisfaction scores?
A: Every institution and market is different, but there are some general principles that banks performing highly in customer service rating generally share, so we, like many banks study customer satisfaction studies and trends to learn from the top performers. Creating value to the customer is key to their satisfaction. Arvest is very responsive to customer feedback provided in person or through customer surveys and will take action when an adjustment is needed. This responsiveness allows us to fix small issues before they become large customer frustrations and to tweak our products or services based on customer needs, which leads to happier customers.
Q: On your website, you have a “How are we doing?” survey for customers. How long have you had this survey on your site?
A: We have conducted online surveys for several years. The customer has the option to choose to provide feedback on a branch, telephone or online experience.
Q: Is it a useful tool for obtaining customer feedback?
A: Yes. We receive many surveys from customers and they are generally very transparent in their feedback. The surveys are provided to the local market where the customer does their banking so that local management can address service levels accordingly and follow up directly with the customer when appropriate.
Q: Arvest received a high score in the product offerings section of the J.D. Powers Rankings. What range of products do you offer to your customers?
A: We believe our product lineup has something for everyone, whether you want an extremely basic account or an account with total relationship value added services. The addition of perks that are becoming more popular like family identity theft coverage has created an overall perception of value. Our checking accounts range from free with no balance requirements to fee based accounts with the options and perks customers have told us are important to them.
Q: We know mobile banking has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Have you seen the same trend with Arvest customers?
A: Arvest has provided free mobile banking since late 2007 and transitioned to an improved offering in October of 2011. We have SMS/Text banking, mobile web banking and apps for iPhone and Android. Our growth over the past 12 months has been phenomenal, with our user base doubling in size. Mobile banking will continue to grow at a torrid pace and we expect it to become increasingly more integral in how customers do their banking.
Q: Let’s talk social. Arvest is on Facebook and Twitter. Do you view social channels as a good way to interact with customers?
A: Yes, it allows us to participate in communication spaces where many of our customers are. It’s another way to share your brand themes and persona.
Q: How has social media helped Arvest with customer communication?
A: Social media has allowed us to share information that doesn’t fit a traditional website such as community events, up to date announcements and consumer education. A very valuable component of social media to banks is the ability to observe customer sentiment and opinions and then apply those to maintaining quality service. Many customers will be more unfiltered with their opinion in social media than they will in a formal survey.
Q: Is there anything else you want to add?
A: Maintaining quality service requires an ongoing effort to continue to deliver on customer expectations. Even though Arvest has won multiple J.D. Power and Associates trophies over the past few years, we have a team of associates who look for weaknesses in the study to identify areas where we can improve. We also research the top performers to try and learn what makes them successful.