Customer satisfaction on the rise among smaller banks, credit unions

When it comes to the quality of customer service, consumers are generally satisfied with banks and credit unions' performance, a new survey indicates.

According to business consultancy firm Prime Performance's 2011 Bank and Credit Union Satisfaction Survey, customers gave their overall satisfaction with credit unions a net score of 89 out of 100 percent. Meanwhile, among banks, consumers scored them as 80 percent.

The survey found that while satisfaction is on the rise among banks and credit unions in general, it's waning with specific financial institutions. For example, at big banks—those with between 300 and 4,000 branches—many consumers believe companies put their institutional interests before customer service. As a result, they are less likely to refer friends and family members to them.

However, some large financial institutions bucked that trend, as satisfaction with Chase rose, particularly among baby boomers.

Some of the biggest issues customers had with banks related to fees that they were being charged. Consumers should be aware of these fees and make sure they aren't being charged unnecessarily high rates stemming from unfair or inaccurate data within their credit reports.