New England Banks Honored With Prestigious Banking Choice Awards

For immediate release  

WEST HARTFORD, CT – Banks from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have been honored with the 2019 Banking Choice Awards in the categories of Customer Service, Technology & Tools, Community Contribution, and Overall Quality. They were presented at an awards luncheon as part of the Best Bank Expo at the MGM Springfield.

In addition, six banks have won best in Connecticut and Massachusetts in their respective categories. These statewide awards for 2019 are the highest honor any bank can achieve.

Additional regional winners were announced as well. A complete list can be found below.

The prestigious Banking Choice Awards are presented by American Business Media and Customer Experience Solutions LLC. Unlike typical “popularity contests,” these awards are given based on interviews with hundreds of thousands of banking customers in a double-blind format. No financial institutions are involved in collecting the data, which is then used to create the highly respected Banking Benchmarks. Customer Experience Solutions is the recognized leader in measuring and tracking customer experience for banking institutions.

Vincent M. Valvo, president and CEO of American Business Media, said, “Customers can choose to bank wherever they want. The Banking Choice Awards determine which banks do it best.”

“There are many different elements to Customer Service and we track them all. These range from basic friendliness and personal touch to proactively identifying problems and solving them for customers,” Bruce A. Paul, president and CEO of Customer Experience Solutions, said.

Technology and Tools honors, Paul said, aren’t solely the dominion of large regional and national banks. “It is important to note that there are some much smaller banks that achieved very high ratings on their technology. Though they may have much smaller IT budgets than the biggest banks, what sets them apart is their ability to engage and train customers on the technology that they have.  Over and over across the region, we see that what separates the best tech banks from the rest is the training that their own staff has on the tools.”

Earning the Community Contribution award is significant because it’s based on input from people who are not customers of those institutions. “Unlike the other categories, this is a rating by prospects (non-customers) of each bank.  So, to win top prize, banks had to not only make strong contributions to their local areas, but they also had to get the word out about that contribution,” Paul said. “The winners in this category are not only great contributors but are also great marketers as well. You can see from the diversity of top performers that massive marketing spend does not always translate into prospects’ minds, but very strategic spend does. This is how a smaller bank can compete with and sometimes outperform much bigger banks.”

The Overall Quality recognition encompasses many of the higher-order areas of the banking relationship, like avoiding problems or fixing them quickly and openly, proactively offering services to customers that improve their financial lives and having staff that are confident enough to do so, Paul said, adding that it often reflects staff that are extremely well trained to help meet every need.

Massachusetts Statewide Winners

Cape Cod 5 Bank was the statewide winner in Massachusetts in two categories: Overall Quality and Customer Service. Paul said, “It’s remarkable that one bank was able to capture more than one top spot. That’s a rare situation indeed.” Cornerstone Bank was named best in Massachusetts in Technology while Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod took home the stop spot for Community Contribution.

Connecticut Statewide Winners

The Nutmeg State also has a dual-category award winner. Thomaston Savings Bank was named Best in Connecticut for Overall Quality and Technology & Tools. Berkshire Bank won the top spot for Customer Service while Chelsea Groton was named best in state for its Community Contribution.

Customer Service Awards Regional Winners

In Rhode Island:

  • BankNewport, First Place
  • Washington Trust, Second Place
  • HarborOne Bank, Third Place

In New Hampshire:

  • Mascoma Bank, First Place
  • Savings Bank of Walpole, Second Place
  • Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank

In the Western Connecticut area:

  • Thomaston Savings Bank, First Place
  • Torrington Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Bankwell, Third Place

In the Capital Connecticut area

  • Berkshire Bank, First Place
  • Liberty Bank, Second Place
  • PeoplesUnited, Third Place

In the New Haven, Connecticut area

  • Thomaston Savings Bank, First Place
  • Ion Bank, Second Place
  • Guilford Savings Bank, Third Place

In the Eastern Connecticut area

  • bankHometown, First Place
  • United Bank, Second Place
  • Dime Bank, Third Place

In Western Massachusetts

  • Florence Bank, First Place
  • Country Bank, Second Place
  • PeoplesBank, Third Place

In Central Massachusetts

  • Cornerstone Bank, First Place
  • BankHometown, Second Place
  • UniBank, Third Place

In Greater Boston

  • The Village Bank, First Place
  • Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Second Place
  • Needham Bank, Third Place

In North Shore area of Massachusetts

  • Institution for Savings, First Place
  • Haverhill Bank, Second Place
  • North Shore Bank, Third Place

In South Shore area of Massachusetts

  • Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, First Place
  • Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Second Place
  • The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, Third Place

Technology & Tools Awards Regional Winners

In Rhode Island:

  • TD Bank, First Place
  • Bank of America, Second Place
  • Citizens Bank, Third Place

In New Hampshire:

  • Mascoma Bank, First Place
  • Savings Bank of Walpole, Second Place
  • Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Third Place

In the Western Connecticut area:

  • Thomaston Savings Bank, First Place
  • Chase Bank, Second Place
  • Bank of America, Third Place

In the Capital Connecticut area

  • Liberty Bank, First Place
  • Farmington Bank, Second Place
  • TD Bank, Third Place

In the New Haven, Connecticut area

  • Thomaston Savings Bank, First Place
  • TD Bank, Second Place
  • Chase Bank, Third Place

In the Eastern Connecticut area

  • bankHometown, First Place
  • TD Bank, Second Place
  • United Bank, Third Place

In Western Massachusetts

  • PeoplesBank, First Place
  • Florence Bank, Second Place
  • TD Bank, Third Place

In Central Massachusetts

  • Cornerstone Bank, First Place
  • Fidelity Bank, Second Place
  • TD Bank, Third Place

In Greater Boston

  • Bank of America, First Place
  • Watertown Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Dedham Savings Bank, Third Place

In North Shore area of Massachusetts

  • Enterprise Bank, First Place
  • TD Bank, Second Place
  • Eastern Bank, Third Place

In South Shore area of Massachusetts

  • Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, First Place
  • The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, Second Place
  • BayCoast Bank, Third Place

Community Contribution Awards Regional Winners

In Rhode Island:

  • Washington Trust, First Place
  • BankNewport, Second Place
  • Bank Rhode Island, Third Place

In New Hampshire:

  • Savings Bank of Walpole, First Place
  • Meredith Village Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Sugar River Bank, Third Place

In the Western Connecticut area:

  • Thomaston Savings Bank, First Place
  • Newtown Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Savings Bank of Danbury, Third Place

In the Capital Connecticut area

  • Essex Savings Bank, First Place
  • Guilford Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Northwest Community Bank, Third Place

In the New Haven, Connecticut area

  • Guilford Savings Bank, First Place
  • The Milford Bank, Second Place
  • Thomaston Savings Bank, Third Place

In the Eastern Connecticut area

  • Chelsea Groton Bank, First Place
  • Dime Bank, Second Place
  • bankHometown, Third Place

In Western Massachusetts

  • Greenfield Savings Bank, First Place
  • Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Second Place
  • Adams Community Bank, Third Place

In Central Massachusetts

  • TD Bank, First Place
  • Rollstone Bank & Trust, Second Place
  • UniBank, Third Place

In Greater Boston

  • Wellesley Bank, First Place
  • Bank of Canton, Second Place
  • Hingham Institution for Savings, Third Place

In North Shore area of Massachusetts

  • Newburyport Bank, First Place
  • Pentucket Bank, Second Place
  • Cape Ann Savings Bank, Third Place

In South Shore area of Massachusetts

  • The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, First Place
  • The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Seamen’s Bank, Third Place

Overall Quality Awards

Regional Winners

In Rhode Island:

  • Washington Trust, First Place
  • BankNewport, Second Place
  • Centreville Bank, Third Place

In New Hampshire:

  • Savings Bank of Walpole, First Place
  • Mascoma Bank, Second Place
  • Meredith Village Savings Bank, Third Place

In the Western Connecticut area:

  • Thomaston Savings Bank, First Place
  • Torrington Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Newtown Savings Bank, Third Place

In the Capital Connecticut area

  • Liberty Bank, First Place
  • PeoplesUnited, Second Place
  • PeoplesBank, Third Place

In the New Haven, Connecticut area

  • Ion Bank, First Place
  • Thomaston Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Guilford Savings Bank, Third Place

In the Eastern Connecticut area

  • bankHometown, First Place
  • Chelsea Groton Bank, Second Place
  • United Bank, Third Place

In Western Massachusetts

  • Florence Bank, First Place
  • bankESB, Second Place
  • Adams Community Bank, Third Place

In Central Massachusetts

  • Cornerstone Bank, First Place
  • Savers Bank, Second Place

In Greater Boston

  • The Village Bank, First Place
  • Dedham Institution for Savings, Second Place
  • Needham Bank, Third Place

In North Shore area of Massachusetts

  • Institution For Savings, First Place
  • Haverhill Bank, Second Place
  • Salem Five Bank, Third Place

In South Shore area of Massachusetts

  • The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, First Place
  • Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Second Place
  • Mutual Bank, Third Place, Overall Quality

About American Business Media

American Business Media (www.ambizmedia.com/) connects business professionals across the country in effective, unique and high-quality ways through a collection of in-person, print, and digital products that are unparalleled in their reach. American Business Media is proud to be the nation’s largest producer of banking, credit union and mortgage conferences.

About Customer Experience Solutions

Customer Experience Solutions (www.cescx.com) provides banks the insight they need when it comes to understanding customer benchmarks. From measurements of perception of overall quality and customer service to the ease-of-use of technology and bank practices to evaluation of levels of loyalty and vulnerability, Customer Experience Solutions creates custom CX programs that provide banks with a wide range of insights into the customer and prospect experience within their competitive environment.

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Contact: Barb Dimauro, Associate Publisher, American Business Media, 413.896.6733, bdimauro@ambizmedia.com

What the Best Community Banks Are Doing Right

Every year, we have the honor of presenting the Banking Choice Awards, in which the top community banks and credit unions are recognized for providing outstanding service to their customers and members. The New York Banking Choice Awards were announced in April at the Banking New York Conference, and on June 28, winners will be announced for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island at the Best Bank Expo.

The Banking Choice Awards are based upon the results of the Banking Benchmarks®, the largest and most comprehensive measure of banking customer experience in the world. The Benchmarks are independent of any financial institution and conducted by Customer Experience Solutions.

Our banking benchmarks delve into 53 different metrics about each institution customers use for banking services. These include the metrics used for the Banking Choice Awards: Overall Quality, Customer Service, Tools & Technology, and Community Contribution. Rankings for Overall Quality, Customer Service, and Tools & Technology are based on people’s responses concerning their primary banking institution. The final category, Community Contribution, is based on the responses for institutions that they are aware of but do not currently use, making it a reputation-based ranking.

There are consistencies among the winning community banks that can be used as a guide to improve your community bank CX:

Community Involvement

Community Banks who earn Banking Choice awards are among the most active in their communities. But they’re not just active – they know how to make sure their community involvement is visible to the community so that the people they serve are aware of the efforts they make to support them. Our surveys show that when a community contribution is accompanied by marketing spend to promote it, the impact to the bottom line can grow by more than 350%.

Technology

Winning community banks not only offer the same technology to their customers as larger banks but also have ensured their employees are trained to use it and can help members navigate it – without losing the personal touch that sets them apart. Staff training is typically one of the top reasons that people decide to switch banks, according to our benchmarks.

Personalized Service

Banking choice award winners are adept at providing exceptional customer service. They pride themselves on their ability to know their customers well, make more informed and faster decisions to help them with their financial needs. They know their customers. 

Customer Experience

What we’ve learned from our benchmarks is that not even better rates can pull a customer away when they feel valued and listened to by their community bank. In fact, customer experience is the most important differentiator. Customers will pay more for better service.

You Can’t Take Advantage of the Opportunity without Knowing Where You Stand

With 1.24 million customers ready to switch banks, there is a lot of opportunity for community banks and credit unions to grow, but it’s going to take not only delivering on customer experience but knowing where your bank stands in comparison to your competition. When you know what your customers and prospects think of your bank, you can make informed decisions to attract more loyal banking customers. Request your benchmarks now.