Customer satisfaction is a valuable measure for any business, yet it is also a rather blunt yardstick. That's because "satisfaction" is a broad term that can include someone virtually indifferent to the bank but not motivated to leave, to someone very happy who wouldn't consider switching. Banks are keying into the distinctions within satisfaction, and are focusing their attention on the so-called "advocates" among their clientele; these customers not only buy more products and services and do so more often than other customers, but they also recommend the institution to friends and family.

There's value in keeping these customers advocating, and identifying the triggers that move other customers into the advocates category. According to J.D. Power and Associates, for every one million customers a bank has, a five percent increase in the number of customers shifting from "modestly committed" to "highly committed" can lead to an additional $1 billion in deposits. These "free sales-agents" can also be a counterweight against churn, which is between 10 and 12 percent at most banks.

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