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Singapore’s banking customer experience stagnates in 2023: Forrester

Citibank and DBS improved their CX scores, whilst three other banks got lower scores.

Citibank is still Singapore’s best bank in terms of customer experience (CX) in a market that saw lower customer satisfaction compared to a year ago.

Forrester’s annual customer experience index revealed that only two major banks in Singapore– Citibank and DBS– improved their CX scores. OCBC, UOB, and Standard Chartered, meanwhile, all reported lower CX scores compared to a year ago.

“Sharp rises in inflation and living costs are making it harder for Singaporean banks to deliver quality CX that meets the needs and expectations of their customers and earn their loyalty,” Forrester commented on the results of the survey, which involved over 1,800 customers in Singapore.

Lack of differentiation is also hurting the market, with just a 5.7 point gap separating the leader and the last placed bank. This indicates that Singapore’ banking sector has reached a stalemate, and customers are rating most as “poor” or just “OK,” Forrester found.

Banks may want to take a look at their physical branches, especially: the quality of physical CX was rated the lowest in Singapore, at just 58.5 points. This is lower than digital-only CX (61 points) and hybrid CX (63.1 points).

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“There is a common misconception in banking that customers universally prefer digital experiences and are ready to abandon physical channels,” said Dane Anderson, SVP of international research and product at Forrester. “Whilst investing in digital experiences was a necessity during COVID-19, by overpivoting to focus on digital channels, banks in Singapore risk losing service capacity and neglecting the service quality in physical channels like call centers and branches.”

First placer Citibank added that making customers feel heard may be part of why they were able to provide the best CX to their Singapore customers.

“We listen to our customers every day for feedback on how we can serve them better and provide them with more value, and we invest every day to act on that feedback,” said Brendan Carney, Citibank Singapore CEO. 

“Our goal is not just to give great service, but also to offer compelling value as well to generate sustained customer delight,” Carney added.

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