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Evaluating Community Banks? See What Their Customers Have to Say

Are you considering taking your company’s banking business to a community bank? If so, you’ll need to weigh a number of

considerations about the bank before making that move. Don’t overlook one of the most important criteria. That of course is
how current customers view – and what they say about -- the quality of service they receive.

IStock-517491962Banks differ widely in their levels of personal service, from standpoints of both one-to-one personal attention and technological capabilities. No one is better equipped to discuss those service levels than their own business customers. Those customers can speak from personal experience about lending ease, attention to detail and business banker accessibility, experience and expertise, among other criteria.

Here are three best practices you can use to determine how current customers view a bank’s service.

  • Review customer testimonials. Many community banks have a testimonial page featuring customer comments about the bank and its services. For instance, on Leaders Bank’s Testimonials page, one customer lauds the bank for its “level of attention and personal service,” another for “always-personal contact.”
  • Network with current customers. It’s likely you’ll meet current customers of the bank at regular meetings of the local chamber of commerce or other business organizations. Don’t hesitate to ask these customers how well the bank measures up on various yardsticks, including loan availability, mobile banking services, knowledge of the local business environment and simple friendliness.
  • Call current customers. Many banks list some of their more prominent business customers on their websites. Call these customers, ask if they can spare a couple minutes and directly ask if their bank’s service meets their expectations.

In addition to other measuring sticks you use, the views of a bank’s current customer base offer essential insights. Seek these expert views early, to aid in your evaluation.

What methods do you find helpful in evaluating community banks? 

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