2018 State of Net Promoter® and Customer Experience… | CustomerGauge 2018 State of Net Promoter® and Customer Experience in the Finance Industry

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2018 State of Net Promoter® and Customer Experience in the Finance Industry

In our recent 2018 NPS® & CX Benchmarks Report, we reached out to the financial services and banking industries, along with 13 other industries, to get a state of customer experience efforts in the space. With financial services ranked relatively high by average Net Promoter Score® amongst the 15 industries evaluated in CustomerGauge’s 2018 NPS & CX Benchmarks Report, and banking relatively low, finance as a whole is still all over the map.

It’s been a decade since the financial crisis in the housing market left more than a few consumers distrustful of the financial services and banking industries. Financial services has slowly worked its way back into some semblance of public favor, but banking flounders a little following scandals like Wells Fargo making over a million fake accounts.

See the average Net Promoter Score® and retention rate for each industry (including our finance categories) by downloading the full report.

In a previous post, we looked at where the technology industry stands in terms of Net Promoter Score and CX. In this article, we’ll now take a closer look at financial services and banking to understand their rankings and areas of improvement as of 2018.

Financial Services—Innovate like Fintech 

+16 increase in Net Promoter Score over 3 years
#7 Net Promoter Score out of 15 industries
#7 retention rate out of 15 industries

Within the 15 industries surveyed, financial services falls in the middle road in terms of both Net Promoter Score and retention rate. While retention rate isn’t entirely indicative of a high Net Promoter Score, in finance, there seems to be a clear link between the two. As we’ve stated in previous posts, the Net Promoter Score isn’t what companies should be focusing on, it’s the improvement in score that matters. So, yes, while a high Net Promoter Score might not mean a high retention rate, an improvement in Net Promoter Score is an indication of creating more loyal and satisfied customers, meaning higher retention.

And financial services has seen great improvement. In a 3 year period, the financial services industry has increased their Net Promoter Score by +16, which is the seconded highest improvement in that time period across the 15 surveyed industries.

A lot of these improvements could be the emergence of the subindustry financial technology (fintech for short). Fintech has done a lot to improve customer experience, with 71% of customers in EY’s most recent report saying that technology has made it easier to have products across multiple financial providers. This ease has made customers happy, which we can see reflected in the increase in NPS and the high levels of customer retention. In fact, according to the report:

“Outside of fee and rate considerations, consumers cited several reasons — all related to the quality of customer experience — to switch to nontraditional providers.” – EY, Customer experience: innovate like a FinTech

In that vein, some of the areas where fintech excels is what financial service companies should continue to focus on:

  • Multi-channel experiences
  • Improved customer services
  • Great transparency
  • Etc.

For more insights, and the full Net Promoter Score and retention rate for the financial services industry, download the free report.

Banking—Where Empathy Needs to Meet Modern Convenience 

+12 increase in Net Promoter Score over 3 years
#12 Net Promoter Score out of 15 industries
#11 retention rate out of 15 industries 

You don’t often associate words like “banking” and “empathy” closely together. And the reasons may be clear: as previously mentioned, the relationship between consumers and banks hasn’t always been the best one. And according to a report conducted by Adobe that’s a big worry among banking executives, with 63% of them believing customer experience to be a top priority for their business.

But with Wells Fargo making fake accounts to boost their numbers, and the EU banks having a lot of trouble with money laundering, perhaps the low rankings in NPS and customer retention are fairly earned. Despite understanding the importance of customer experience, companies still seem to waver in what many consumers dictate as an absolutely must in a banking partner—honesty and transparency. USAA is a great representation of customer empathy at work—and have one of the highest Net Promoter Scores across the finance industry. The banking and insurance giant has consistently been noted for their great work with veteran families. USAA puts their frontline employees in their customers shoes—literally. Employees have taken part in simulated oversea deployments and also read letters from the soldiers they serve.

Beyond empathy in banking, many consumers are also looking for convenience in their banking partners. Which is good, considering 46% of consumers primarily interact with their bank digitally.  Companies like ING and Barclays are NPS leaders in their space, and have done a lot to improve their customer experiences—across the globe. Both companies report Net Promoter Scores via region/location, which allows them to account for culturally diverse customer experiences, while also providing a more accurate source of benchmarking.

ING has combined their Net Promoter program with a self-designed customer service methodology, dubbed the PACE method, in hopes of improving the customer issue process. PACE deals with the internal machinations of the company and how ING takes action on what it’s learned from its customers.

Barclays US also looks to improve the customer journey—not an easy feat considering they’ve identified over 400 unique customer journeys. In addition, Barclays UK has begun providing resources to small business owners called “Barclays Eagle Labs.” According to NPSBenchmarks.com, “The service helps mentor entrepreneurs from start-up to IPO via banking solutions, relationship support and networking.” 

There’s a silver lining to being low in the rankings though--there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement. For banking, that begins with focusing on both empathy and modern conveniences. To improve their overall standing, banking should look to leaders like USAA, ING and Barclays to enhance experiences.

For more insights, and the full Net Promoter Score and retention rate for the banking industry, download the free report. 


The finance industry is, currently, a mixed bag in regards to NPS and customer experience. Financial services are doing fairly well, being very much average amongst the 15 industries surveyed, while banking lags behind. Public perception of the financial industry plays a part in this, but how companies are dealing with customer experience is also affecting their NPS and retention in a big way.

Interested in learning more about the 13 other industries mentioned, or more about the finance industry in 2018? Download the full report now. In addition, this September, we’ll be hosting a get together in Silicon Valley with some of the biggest movers and shakers in the NPS and CX industry. Join us for this get together and learn how you can improve your standing within your industry. 

Next Up: The Hidden Churn Indicator - Absence of Signal

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The Most Comprehensive B2B NPS & CX Benchmarks on the Planet

See how your experience program compares with over 24,000+ NPS & CX data points collected across 12 B2B industries.