Can I Help You?

Choosing Better Customer Service

#MoneyMondays #Faithfulfinance

 

Growing up I would hear this expression or some version of it.

“Good things are not cheap, and cheap things are not good.”

We often overlook customer service when making decisions regarding finances and financial services.  How well does the financial institution we choose treat its customers? This question ranks second, third or fourth place, behind interest rates, fees, and other services. Naturally, we prioritize those considerations when choosing a financial institution. But, does it really mater that my car insurance premiums are the lowest rates, when it take them eight weeks to have my vehicle repaired from a fender bender?  The problem is, usually, you only know the true value of low insurance  premiums after you become a customer and have gotten into a car accident.

Today, however, we can offer some news regarding customer winning institutions.

Home and Vehicle Insurance.

According to information from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Farmers Insurance seems to win the day. When you compare their share of customer complaints to that of their competitors they average a more favorable ratio.  Among the services customers are pleased with are complaint resolutions and the ease with which their website can be navigated. While Famers has received some of the best reviews, two other companies are worth a mention, Geico and State Farm. They both rank highly when it comes to customer service in times of distress and need. Gieco, however, may have the edge because it provides the most user-friendly digital tools with a great website and well-designed app. While I cannot speak to the cost of premiums between these companies, their user interface and experience influences the choice in their favor.

 

Mortgage Lenders

Rocket Mortgage is the largest residential lender in the country, originating more than $275 billion in loans during calendar year 2021. They also seem to be the best when it comes to customer service regarding loans. The analysis here is how much does customer service rank in choosing a mortgage lander verses the rate, points and and other borrowing factors. While it may seem as a no brainer, are you willing to accept lower fees in exchange for the nightmare associated with attempting to refinance?  Or, will it matter to you when the party who originates your loan sells it to another company and now you’re stuck in the middle?

Based upon the analysis  of  the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) data, Rocket Mortgage received the fewest complaints (except for one other smaller company). Half the complaints centered around concerns related to refinancing and the the other half about payments and closing. However, given their market share, the customer service out-paced that of the competition.

 Banking

Perhaps no other customer service experience is more crucial today than that of your bank or financial institution. Chase has more than 4,700 branches through the United States and the District of Columbia. It is the largest bank in the country, in terms of both domestic assets of $2.5 trillion and domestic deposits of $2 trillion. Despite such a large footprint, it manages to stay ahead of competition based upon the analysis of CFPB data regarding customer’s complaints and satisfaction . To the extent that complaints exist, only one quarter related to withdrawals, deposits, or delays in deposited funds becoming available . Other complaints revolved around using debit cards, unauthorized account charges by lenders and closing customers accounts.

Also, Chase customers gave the mobile apps and websites much praise. While they may have ranked ahead of  the competition, both Wells Fargo and TD Bank were close with low complaints when you considered customers services in seeking financial services. These three banks ranked among the best in customer service, yet, the suggested “best bank” with digital tools is Capital One.  However, the evaluation of CFPB data indicates a higher rate of customer service complaints–all while the Capital One website and apps were determined to be the best.

Perspective

While cheap things may not be good and good things may not be cheap; or you get what you pay for; sometimes you may have to choose customer service over cost. But it really depends upon, which financial services you value over others and frequency of use. You need not accept the idea that quality services and lower cost are mutually exclusive.

 

 

WHAT’S UP!

Today’s what’s up is about how people are responding to inflation. Here are possible suggestions for  fighting inflation:

Some have decided to part ways with their pets to reduce food cost in their budget. You might find that to be a bridge too far. Others have opted for taking on a roommate to cut down on food and other living costs. Another alternative is to start gardening or increase the size of your garden. One person has decided to embrace refrigerated leftovers and eat the same thing for a few days.  The last two options I’ll share are bartering with others for goods or services, and changing up your grocery routine by shopping for reduced prices, and or changing or eliminating meat intake.   And that’s what’s up!

 

Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC . Give2Get Rich, LLC 2022. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

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