Only about one-half of surveyed small businesses are “extremely satisfied” with the level of customer service, online banking capabilities and ease of use of the online banking applications provided by their financial institutions.
Boston, MA, May 7, 2008 – A new report from Aite Group, LLC provides an in-depth look at where small businesses bank, and the factors they consider when selecting a financial institution. The report looks at the overall level of satisfaction these businesses have with their primary institutions and their institutions' offerings, and breaks down small businesses' preferred channels and willingness to pay fees. It also identifies which banking products small businesses most often use and plan to use in the coming months.
Part of a series of reports looking at the banking needs of small businesses, this report is based on a November 2007 survey of 303 small businesses conducted by Aite Group. The report reveals that small businesses have become a major target market for financial institutions of all sizes. This once-ignored customer segment is growing in sophistication, and increasingly requires advanced financial products. Aite Group forecasts that small businesses will spend almost US$400 billion on financial products this year, a number expected to exceed US$475 billion by 2010. In order to reap the benefits of this potential revenue stream, financial institutions must take greater steps to better understand the specific needs and banking preferences of these businesses. Only about one-half of surveyed small businesses are "extremely satisfied" with the level of customer service, online banking capabilities and ease of use of the online banking applications provided by their financial institutions. In other areas, the percentage declaring extreme satisfaction is far less.
"While U.S. financial institutions have made progress over the last couple of years toward understanding and serving small-business customers, more needs to be done," says Christine Barry, research director with Aite Group and author of this report. "Significant gaps continue to exist between customer needs and products offered, and most U.S. financial institutions fail to provide the highest levels of satisfaction to their customers."
This 34-page Impact Report contains 35 figures. Clients of Aite Group's Wholesale Banking service can download the report.