Yet, how well do institutions know the small business segment, and what these customers want and expect when it comes to banking services? As shown by BAI’s 2012 Solutions Demand Pulse1 survey of retail banking executives, there are disconnects between bankers’ and small businesses’ views in several crucial areas. To better understand both the drivers of these disconnects and other characteristics of small business usage patterns and preferences, BAI launched the study of Small Business Demand for Banking Services, sponsored by Deloitte.
The research uncovered crucial preferences, attitudes and trends for bank executives that have been categorized in primarily three areas – Banking Relationships, Product and Service Usage and Means of Engagement and Channel Usage.
The study reveals that small businesses demonstrate strong loyalty to their primary financial institution. The banking relationship has a significant longevity of over 15 years. When asked about overall satisfaction with their Primary Financial Institutions, 75% of small businesses indicate they are satisfied. However, more than half of the respondents also indicated a willingness to consolidate with one bank if all their needs are met or if they received a financial incentive from that bank. Given the potential opportunity for growth, and risk of losing loyal customers, banks should consider being proactive in understanding the needs of their small business customers and knowledgeable about their business.