Nearly two-thirds of affluent middle class consumers in the US expect greater rewards for their loyalty and expect more personalized communications and services, according to research from Collinson Group.
Only 41% of these customers said they feel their bank knows and understands them, the study found.
Over 4,400 affluent middle class consumers across eight global markets, including 1,000 US consumers participated in the survey, which intends to track the changing attitudes and expectations of customers toward banks.
The study revealed that nearly 50% of respondents are not satisfied with their banks and are considering or have already switched providers within the last two years.
Many consumers feel that banks are not performing as well as they could, and as a result, retail banks in the US are missing out on the opportunity to create powerful advocates and attract repeat business from loyal customers.
The study report also found that nearly 56% of affluent middle class Americans are currently members of bank loyalty initiatives, and are more likely to be members of an airline (80%), hotel (76%), grocery (71%) or credit card (68%) loyalty programs.
Affluent middle class consumers in the US who feel loyal to a brand are 81% more likely to purchase a product from them in the future, and 72% would recommend a brand to their friends and family, the study suggests.
Collinson Group director Christopher Evans said: "While the percentage of customers switching accounts today is low, we’ve seen an increase year on year. Increased competition and the popularity of easy-to-use comparison websites are providing customers with more choices and ultimately more expectations. Knowing your customer and ensuring they feel valued are key tenets of establishing loyalty and banks need to act now if they want to retain customers."
The study report also revealed that banks are losing their position as a ‘one-stop shop’ for financial services, with savvy consumers increasingly looking elsewhere for additional services.
In the US, customers purchased services such as insurance through a credit card (79%) rather than a bank (34%). In contrast, these services are sought through comparison sites in the UK.
When a customer does buy additional products through their bank, they are more loyal, with 61% less willing to switch provider, the study found.