BOSTON, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ath Power Consulting, a leading financial services research and strategy firm, today announced the results of its annual Small Business Banking Study™, which assesses small business banking customer experience at banks nationwide. This year, the top performing banks were BB&T, Synovus and Capital One Bank - also the only 3 banks to achieve an overall evaluation score above 80 (out of a potential 100). BB&T achieved the highest customer evaluation, scoring 85 points.
Based on nearly 900 in-person audits performed by prospective Small Business Owners (SBOs) at 39 banks across the U.S., results of The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™ showed that a banker's behavior clearly drives a small business prospect's inclination to become a customer, and key factors can influence that decision, including a thorough needs assessment and discussing credit products during the initial interaction.
Findings revealed that when bankers took the time to determine the SBO's needs before mentioning the bank's offerings, more than 4 out of 5 business owners (83%) indicated that they would become a customer of that bank. When they did not, only 42% would consider becoming a customer.
"Asking questions about someone's business is a significant driver of whether he or she intends to become a customer of a bank," noted Frank Aloi, ath Power CEO. "In fact, the highest rated banks were those whose employees determined a prospect's needs before making any product recommendations."
Results also showed that credit products were discussed with scarcely more than 1 in 2 Small Business Owners (56%). When bankers did speak about these products, whether the customer needed them or not, it dramatically improved their standing. More than 9 out of 10 (91%) say they would seek financial advice from that banker in the future and would become a customer of the bank.
"Today, many Small Business Owners believe they have no chance to obtain credit, and others are simply unaware that banks are lending again," states Aloi. "The SBOs in our study reported that just knowing a banker was willing to discuss credit/lending options provided a sense of assurance and eagerness to help them grow."
Other top scoring banks in this year's study were Associated Bank, Chase and Webster Bank. Regionally, the top rated banks were:
- West: Comerica, BBVA, Citibank
- Midwest: Associated Bank, Charter One, Chase
- South: Capital One Bank, Bank of America, Chase
- Mid-Atlantic: BB&T, Capital One Bank, SunTrust Bank
- Northeast: Chase, Webster Bank, Citibank
About the Study
The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™ is a detailed assessment of the sales and service processes, product and service offerings, delivery methods and customer experiences of the nation's premier institutions within the Small Business banking target market. Please visit www.athpower.com/home/smallbusinessbanking.php to learn more or order this report.
About ath Power Consulting
ath Power Consulting is a premier provider of customer experience solutions for the financial services industry, offering customized survey research, mystery shop study, competitive intelligence, market analyses, training and development, and strategic brand planning. ath Power owns the largest panel of financial services field representatives in the nation, and executes more proprietary banking audits than anyone in the industry. Since 1997, our fully customizable solutions have helped improve customer retention, build brand loyalty, ensure compliance and increase profitability, performance and market share for financial services organizations across North America. To learn more, please visit www.athpower.com.
ath Power Consulting
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SOURCE ath Power Consulting