The credit union and shadow banking industry have both seen increases in customers since the financial recession in 2008. There are, of course, a number of reasons, including the inability to receive loans from larger banks and the lower interest rates credit unions generally offer. But, a survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index also points to the satisfaction more customers have with the service at credit unions compared to major banks.
The Index found that JP Morgan Chase had the highest rating at 74, and Bank of America the lowest, at 66. Above all major banks, smaller banks had a level of 79 and credit unions an 82.
The gap is, however, closing. Since last year, JP Morgan Chase increased by six points, while credit unions fell by six points, suggesting changes away from credit unions and back to banks as the crisis becomes an event of the past. Reuters explained that "Big banks have drawn the ire of customers for receiving bailouts during the financial crisis and for rolling out higher fees in recent years," and most of the major banks are seeing scores similar to before the recession.
Either way, both large and small banks can see the impact customer service has on attracting customers, especially since there have been major changes in preferences in the past five years. With strong customer service, credit unions are able to compete against major banks for members.
The advantages credit unions and smaller banks have can be leverage by larger financial institutions as well. With case management software, any institution can efficiently keep track of customers' histories and expectations, combining the customer service of a smaller bank with the financial services of a larger one.