The financial services industry didn't fare so well in Forrester Research's latest ranking of the nation's most customer-friendly companies. Only three financial firms were ranked in the top 20, and overall, banks and credit-card companies were among the lowest-rated of the 133 firms Forrester ranked in its annual Customer Experience Index.

We all know this is a critical time for the industry, and financial firms need to take a good look at the policies, processes and technology they put in place to do more with less, but at the same time remember who is keeping them in business - customers. It is possible to improve efficiency without dropping the ball on service.

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