by Rich Edwards May 27, 2022

What we're reading - 05/27/22 Edition

Banking satisfaction, customer service and personalization, and a founder's story worth reading

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It’s another Friday, and for your community banking reading pleasure, we bring you J.D. Power’s latest banking survey, personalization in financial services customer support, and an interesting and compelling founder’s story in agriculture finance.

1. J.D. Power’s Direct Banking Satisfaction Survey

J.D. Power announced their Direct Banking Satisfaction Survey. The full report is behind a paywall, but key takeaways here and here.

Although direct banks have always been prized for their easy-to-access, self-service nature, customer service (via phone and online chat/email) is a key driver of customer satisfaction. Among checking and savings customers, 59% say they have never had a problem or complaint with their direct bank. Among customers who experienced a problem/complaint in the past 12 months, 83% say it was convenient to reach customer service and 88% say their most recent problem was resolved.

“As so much of our lives continue to shift to digitally based providers, direct banks have been in prime position to gain market share and mindshare by delivering around-the-clock access, along with products that have attractive fee structures and interest rates,” said Paul McAdam, senior director of banking and payments intelligence at J.D. Power. “Increasingly, we’re seeing the top-performing brands get the personalization formula right by helping customers reduce banking fees and grow their money, and by showing that they’re available to help customers in challenging financial times.”

Top Rated Direct Banks

2. Personalized Experience Critical for Banking Customer Service

Daniel Rajan of enterprise customer engagement platform Sprinklr writes on 5 ways financial services can differentiate themselves. Based on their experience with automating and scaling customer support organizations, Daniel lays out the lessons learned to win with today’s elevated customer expectations. In addition to seamless cross-channel service, proactive interactions, and addressing privacy concerns, Daniel points to the role personalization play as a winning approach.

People increasingly want to have seamless, integrated experiences across all touchpoints — and they do not want to keep repeating themselves. Customers today expect agents to know all about their previous conversations, understand their personal financial goals, and give advice tailored to their circumstances.

Customers also now expect a full digital onboarding in a frictionless, secure environment. In fact, 50% of consumers report having abandoned an onboarding process when applying for a bank account. Financial offerings are very complex, so it’s extremely important that you provide enough guidance to help people when they’re selecting the right products for their financial needs.

3. The Story of Mackenzie Burnett and Ag Financial startup Ambrook

Packy McCormick at Not Boring brings us the story of Fintech startup Ambrook and their entry into providing funding and grant discovery services to farmers. Centered on sustainability in agriculture, Ambrook addresses gaps in assistance for farmers accessing programs like USDA conservation grants. This unmet need opens the relationships and is the launching point for other financial services.

Fintech has opened up new business models, where users get software for free and networks, banks, or vendors pay the fees. For thin-margin businesses like farms, this makes software far more accessible to the long-tail of the market – to the everyday farmer. And it makes it easier to scale into enterprise applications and compete against expensive ERP platforms.

Agriculture is characterized as one of the least digitized industries – not because farmers are anti-technology, but because few companies have built for their use case. Many farmers, regardless of their size, run sophisticated operations. They deserve the tools to match.

That’s it for this week. With the official start of summer this weekend have a plan for your out-of-office notifications. We’d love to hear from you; hit us up at

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