Customer service is the lifeblood of most businesses, especially banks. One bad experience could chase away a valuable client forever.
The Greenwich Excellence Awards honor financial institutions that excel, and the 2013 results indicate Columbus-based Synovus Financial Corp. -- parent firm of Columbus Bank and Trust -- is well-regarded.
A handful of its local competitors -- all headquartered outside Columbus -- also were in on the awards action, including Regions Bank, Wells Fargo, BB&T, SunTrust and Bank of America.
Synovus garnered 16 national awards in the areas of middle market and small-business banking. The middle market categories include overall satisfaction, likelihood to recommend and relationship manager capability, with overall satisfaction and customer service nods coming in the area of treasury management.
In the small-business arena, Synovus honors came in overall satisfaction, likelihood to recommend, personal banking satisfaction, credit policy, relationship manager capacity, branch satisfaction and online services, as well as in the treasury management areas of overall satisfaction, accuracy of operations, customer service and product capabilities.
Synovus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kessel Stelling hailed the recognition, saying it shows his employees' "commitment to exceed the expectations" of clients and develop "trust and loyalty."
Among the national winners, Regions Bank received six Greenwich Excellence Awards, while Wells Fargo picked up seven, one of those in the category of "financial stability." BB&T took 15 awards, with SunTrust receiving 10 and Bank of America -- which only has one branch locally -- taking five honors. Two of BofA's, however, were in the areas of international service and investment banking.
More than 750 banks participated in the Greenwich Excellence Awards, with only 34 being honored for their middle market banking efforts. In small-business banking, 43 financial institutions had what Greenwich calls "distinctive quality."
Stamford, Conn.-based Greenwich Associates, a global financial consulting and research firm, conducts the awards each year. They are based on more than 40,000 market research interviews across the U.S.
"The clients of these firms have recognized them as providing superior quality of products, service and coverage," according to the Greenwich website.