MAYVILLE - A group of more than 700 employees of Northwest Savings Bank cheered at the unveiling of the 2012 JD Power and Associates Trophy for Highest Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in the Mid-Atlantic Region at a company celebration and picnic in the streets of the bank's headquarters town of Warren, Pa. This is the third consecutive year that Northwest Savings Bank has received the award.
The trophy joined its predecessors from 2010 and 2011 on display in front of a specially-built stage at the south end of Liberty Street. The street, which was closed to traffic for the event and crowded with Northwest personnel, runs between the bank's Administrative and Corporate Centers through the heart of the small city 140 miles north of Pittsburgh. Banners bearing images of the awards from 2012, 2011 and 2010, plus the images of awards presented to Northwest by Forbes for being one of America's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies for 2012 and 2009, hung from the enclosed walkway that spans the street above the stage and joins the bank's two buildings. A mammoth jumbotron behind the stage allowed everyone in the crowd to view speakers onstage and videos presented as part of the program.
The crowd wore polo shirts, given to all employees of the $8 billion bank in commemoration of the honor, and waved giant, green foam hands with three fingers symbolizing the three trophies. They filled the street to see the unveiling and to hear remarks by members of the bank's senior management team and a representative of JD Power and Associates.
Steven Fisher, Executive Vice President of Banking Services of Northwest Savings Bank, addressed the crowd. He recognized that those gathered represented all departments of Northwest Savings Bank, including representatives from the bank's network of 168 community banking offices, its region, district and area management team, commercial lenders, wealth management representatives and business service advisors from the four states the banks serves, members of the 52 offices of the Northwest Consumer Discount Company, Boetger and Associates, Veracity Benefit Designs, and Members of the Board of Directors. It was the largest single gathering of Northwest Savings Bank employees in the company's 116 year history.
"Life is about making decisions today to build a better future," Fisher said. "Northwest is committed to the long-term success of our employees, customers, communities, and shareholders. Our engaged, empowered teams of local professionals make the difference in ensuring that tomorrow will be the best it can be. Please leverage this excellence we have all earned. Thank our existing customers and tell everyone who is not a customer how special Northwest really is."
J.D. Power and Associates Account Director, US Services and Emerging Industries Division, Financial Services Group, Lisa Coleno briefly addressed the crowd.
"Your company doesn't take customer service for granted," she said. "Northwest empowers its employees to serve its customers well. Consequently, Northwest Savings Bank sets the bar for exceptional customer service on a national level." She urged the bank employees to strive for a fourth award next year.
Northwest Savings Bank President and CEO, William J. Wagner then thanked the employees for their commitment to customer service and Northwest's customers for their support.
"Receiving this award three consecutive years is a tribute to Northwest's culture of providing exceptional service to our customers," Wagner said. "These awards come at a time when critics across our nation unjustifiably place the blame for recent economic troubles on our industry, an industry with a longstanding tradition of dedicated service to its customers and communities. All the members of our Northwest team are proud to say that we are community bankers, because community bankers are one of the pillars of the economic well-being of our nation."
The local bank received the award because it ranked highest in customer satisfaction in retail banking in the Mid-Atlantic Region according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study. (SM)
The study, conducted in January and February, analyzed overall customer satisfaction with their retail banking experience based on six factors: account activities, account information, facility, fees, problem resolution, and product offering. Northwest received the highest customer satisfaction score in the Mid-Atlantic Region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
J.D. Power and Associates of Westlake, California has completed these studies and released these rankings for six years. The rankings reflect the results of surveys conducted with nearly 52,000 banking customers nationally. Additional information about the study and its methodology may be found at www.jdpower.com/Finance/ratings/retail-banking-ratings/
Headquartered in Warren, PA, Northwest Savings Bank is a full-service community bank that operates 168 offices in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, AND Maryland. With assets of $8 billion, Northwest offers its customers a full range of personal and business banking services plus investment management services and insurance. The stock of its parent company, Northwest Bancshares, Inc., trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "NWBI." For more information about Northwest Savings Bank, please visit northwestsavingsbank.com.
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence, and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.