PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Bank call centers outperformed retail store call centers in the latest survey by the market research firm O'Connor & Associates.

The O'Connor Report, evaluates 15 of the nation's largest banks 100 times each during a one-month period and rates their service in seven areas: reception, rapport, identification of needs, professionalism, product knowledge, cross-selling capability, and closing.

The retailers participating in the survey were Dell Computer, Merrill Lynch, L.L. Bean, Amazon.com, and Lands' End.

The core group of banks, which have been in the report since inception, include Chase Manhattan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank One, Wachovia, FleetBoston, PNC, Key Bank, and First Union. The remaining banks in the survey were Bank of New York, Riggs Bank, U.S. Bank, CB&T, and M&T Bank.

Banking and retail call centers scored lower than in the last report, but the banking centers again scored higher than the retail call centers in six areas.

The biggest gap was in cross-selling. The banks' score dropped to 15.61%, from 21.63%, to 15.61%, and the retailers' to 6.10%, from 14.70%.

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