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Last year, Webster Financial CEO James C. Smith said he was confident that community banking was the key to an elevated digital customer experience for his customers. Webster Bank has 177 branches and 316 ATMs located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Westchester County, N.Y. The bank’s recent focus has been on community banking, mobile banking, and the digital customer experience.
A Webster Bank spokesperson told Loyalty360 that during the past several years, bank officials have focused heavily on understanding customer satisfaction and making changes to improve satisfaction.
“We track satisfaction in the consumer bank through our daily surveys, but also through the J.D. Power annual survey,” the spokesperson explained. “In business banking, we track satisfaction with Barlow and in Middle Market we track it through the Greenwich survey. We also utilize a relationship survey, which samples customers from across the organization. The intent was to capture a single measure of customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score.”
Webster Bank’s customers have changed.
“More than half of our checking account households have embraced digital banking,” the spokesperson said. “Self-service deposits, as of 2018, represent more than 40 percent of all deposits. At the same time, Community Banking continues to improve our customers’ digital experience as reflected in a 10.5 percent year-over-year increase in active mobile banking users, and a 4 percent increase in active online users. Our dedication to providing a great customer experience has helped drive these results. To that end, we are investing heavily in new mobile banking application features coming later this year to meet consumer demand.”
Earning and maintaining brand loyalty is a key focus at Webster Bank.
“We carefully track our performance with brand loyalty,” the spokesperson explained. “Several times each year we are able to get metrics on customer/prospect awareness and consideration of our brand. We also capture information on key brand image attributes. We strongly believe that earning and maintaining brand loyalty means carving out a differentiated position from our competitors. At Webster, we are focused on deepening and broadening our relationships with our customers—whether they are consumer or business customers—we are squarely focused on helping them achieve their financial goals across their lifetime.”
In the company’s annual report last year, Smith and Webster Financial President John R. Ciulla wrote a letter to shareholders:
“No segment of the banking business has faced a more daunting path to economic profit than retail banking, due to rapidly changing consumer behavior and accompanying high expectations and to a more demanding regulatory environment,” the letter says, in part. “To meet these challenges, we laid out several years ago a transformational strategic road map that would hasten the day when Community Banking would earn its cost of capital. Directionally, this road map focused on enhancing our digital presence, especially mobile banking, to match customers’ shifting preferences and optimizing our network of banking centers to reach the appropriate presence in the best locations.”
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