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Business Journal
Mexico's Banks: Customer Problems
Business Journal

Mexico's Banks: Customer Problems

by Anders Christiansen and Hugo Ledesma
Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • More than three in four customers are indifferent or disengaged
  • Customer service provides the greatest opportunity for growth
  • Three in four customers say they visited a bank branch in past six months

With the prospects for loan growth and asset quality less certain in 2017, Mexico's banks need to make engaging their customers a priority. In fact, their future health may depend on it.

Gallup surveys of banking customers in Mexico in 2016 show they have a lot of work to do. For every one banking customer in Mexico who is fully engaged, another three are indifferent or disengaged -- and potentially hurting a bank's revenue.

Customers who are fully engaged bring 37% more annual revenue to their primary bank than customers who are disengaged do. They use more of the bank's products and have higher deposit balances in their accounts.

However, Mexico's banks have the power to change their engagement ratio -- and help their bottom line -- if they provide better customer service.

While about four in 10 banking customers surveyed in Mexico in 2016 say they "strongly agree" with most positive statements about their experiences with their bank, customer service has the most room for growth. Just one in three customers (33%) say they strongly agree that their bank has customer service representatives who truly stand out for their great service.

Mexican Bank Account Owners' Feelings About Their Banking Experience
On a five-point scale, where five means strongly agree and one means strongly disagree, please rate your level of agreement with the following items.
  % Strongly agree
My bank always treats me fairly. 42
I can always trust my bank. 39
Doing business with my bank is always easy. 38
If a problem arises, I can always count on my bank to reach a fair and satisfactory resolution. 38
My bank has great products and services that truly meet my financial needs. 35
My bank has customer service representatives that truly stand out for their great service. 33

Customers' most common interactions with their banks are through the use of an ATM, but more than three in four customers report having visited their branch in the past six months (76%) and nearly half have called their banks' call center (47%). These personal interactions are opportunities for banks to create an engaging relationship with a wide swath of their customer base through the service they provide.

Banks that seize these opportunities for employee-customer interactions can differentiate their brand. Customers who strongly agree that their bank offers excellent customer service are more than four times as likely to be fully engaged as are those who do not.

Making Customer Service a Priority

Most banking customers in Mexico interact with their banks in a personal way, via service at a branch or through call centers, but they rate their customer service the lowest in their overall banking experience.

If banks in Mexico make their customer service a priority, it could likely improve customer ratings not only on this measure, but also on other measures such as trust in the bank, ease of doing business and problem resolution, all while boosting overall customer engagement.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 322 bank customers in Mexico, aged 15 and older. For results based on the samples, the margin of sampling error is ±6.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Justin McCarthy contributed to this article.


Anders Christiansen is a Consultant at Gallup.
Hugo Ledesma is a Consultant at Gallup.

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