THE NEED FOR IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICES IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY; THE CASE OF UNION BANK NIGERIA
INTRODUCTION 1.1Â Â Â Background to the Study Undoubtedly most industries and businesses persistently endeavor to maximize customer value. Nonetheless this has globally become the hub of marketing for every organization or industry. In as much as possible for any company to probably reach this end would require the need to achieve absolute customer satisfaction through offering incomparable services to customers. Indeed Customer service is the ability to identify the needs of customers and meeting those needs beyond their expectation within the shortest possible time. In this light the focus of marketing is to address the customersâ€™ needs, wants, preference and attitudes. Arguably, marketing concepts posit that the right avenue to start the search for new products ideas are the customersâ€™ needs and wants Kotler (1991). Indeed, the success of any organization depends largely on the extent to which that organization could integrate its knowledge about the customersâ€™ needs, wants and preference with its own creative capacity and skills. Consequently, competitive edge is secured through intelligent identification and satisfaction of customers needs better and sooner than competitors and sustenance of customerâ€™s satisfaction through better customer service tools. This research therefore seeks to find out the need for improved Â customer service in the banking industry, evidence from Union Bank Nigeria. 1.3 Problem Statement According Petasis and Opoku-Olumide (4812) Â the banking industry in Nigeria continues to attract, retain and maintain qualified personnel to fill their most sensitive positions to have customer confidence, credibility, and trustworthiness and be more attractive to customers. If these claims are to hold, then it is worth investigating the need for improved Â customer service in the Nigerian banking industry. 1.4 Objectives of the Study It has been recognized that effective customer service creates a niche for an organization in terms of customer satisfaction and retention amidst intense competition from others providing the same service. The researcher intends to achieve the over-arching aim of the study by examining the following specific objectives:
- To examine the nature of customer service practices of Union BankÂ Nigeria.
- To evaluate the customer attitude towards Union BankÂ Nigeria.
- To make recommendations of feasible options that can help Union BankÂ Nigeria to institute better customer service practices.
- To find out the product range Union BankÂ Nigeria has for its customers.
- To find out whether customers are satisfied with the product available in Union BankÂ Nigeria.
1.5 Research Questions The research questions this study seeks to answer are:
- What is the nature of customer service practices in the banking industry of Nigeria?
- What is the nature of customer attitude to Union BankÂ Nigeria banking services?
- What are the probable recommendation options that may be available to Union BankÂ Nigeria to institute better customer service practices?
- What are the various products ranges Union BankÂ Nigeria offer to customers?
- Are customers satisfied with products available in Union BankÂ Nigeria?
1.5.1 Hypothesis Ho: Customer service is not an important element in the financial service industry. Hi:Â Â Â Â Â Â Customer service is an important element in the financial service industry. 1.6 Significance of the Study This study empirically examines the need of customer service in the banking industry. Indeed, an efficient customer service holds the key to overcoming the stiff competition in the banking industry in Nigeria. Not only this but also, customers will be galvanized to advertise the products Â of Â that Â bank Â through Â word-of-mouth. Â These Â could Â be Â achieved Â if Â the Â bottlenecks associated with effective customer service delivery are reduced to the barest minimum if not totally eliminated. It is against this backdrop and stiff competition that this study attempts to find out; Firstly, the nature of customer service of UnionÂ BankÂ Nigeria, problems faced by customers anytime they come to transact business at the bank. Secondly, to examine the needs and wants of customers and perhaps arouse the feasible options to institute better customer service practise and evaluate customer attitude in UnionÂ BankÂ Nigeria. 1.7Â Â Scope and Limitation Although there are 36 UnionÂ BankÂ branches in Nigeria this study will focus on the Makurdi Branch. The proximity and time period allocated to this study would not allow for an extensive and detailed research into the topic. In spite of these limitations, it is hoped that, this work would provide very useful insights into the area of customer service and its need in the bank.Â 1.8 Definition of Terms
- Customer: A person or Organisation that buys goods and services from a store or business. 2. services: The act of doing somethingÂ or helping someone out for free or for a fee.
- Banking: The business conducted or services being offered by a bank