THE EFFECTS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGIES ON CORPORATE PERFORMANCE IN GHANAIAN BANKS: A CASE STUDY OF BARCLAYS BANK GHANA LIMITED (ASAFO BRANCH)

THE EFFECTS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGIES ON CORPORATE PERFORMANCE IN GHANAIAN BANKS: A CASE STUDY OF BARCLAYS BANK GHANA LIMITED (ASAFO BRANCH)

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Globalised competition has stressed the strategic importance of satisfaction, quality and consequently loyalty, being customer service strategies, in the battle for winning consumer preferences and maintaining sustainable competitive advantages. Services are gaining increasingly more importance in the competitive formula of both firms and countries. In the modern customer centric competitive arena, satisfaction, quality and loyalty prove to be key factors reciprocally interrelated in a causal and cyclical relationship. The higher the (perceived) customer service, the more satisfied and loyal the customers are.

In particular, financial institutions (i.e. banks) have realized the strategic importance of customer value and seemed to be continuously seeking innovative ways to enhance customer relationships through its various service strategies. In fact, as the offers of many financial services are very similar and slightly differentiable, loyal customers have a huge value, since

they are likely to spend and buy more, spread positive word-of-mouth, resist co offers, wait for a product to become available and recommend the service provider to other

potential customers.

Financial services in Ghana have experienced several changes over the last decades with a growing attention to customer needs. Financial institutions (i.e. banks) realized the strategic importance of customer value and seem to be continuously seeking innovative ways to enhance customer relationships. The important role in the development of every economy by

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the financial sector cannot be overlooked. Banks as a matter of fact inevitably play an important role in boosting the performance of businesses in the economy. Banks are the principal supplier of credit in Ghana. In spite of their role, banks could not have done all these without customers. In actual fact, no customer no business. This has therefore necessitated for the good treatment of customers to be able to sustain and play the above important roles.

Globally, every business looks for opportunities to stand out from the rest. Almost all the banks, through their customer service strategies, provide similar products and services. These products and services could be copied but the only way one could differentiate the business was by providing superior customer service. More so, it does not matter what systems or processes your business employs, unless you are able to make a profit all of it is worthless. Profit could only be generated through customers.

During the 1980s marketing research became aware of the potential of relationship marketing and shifted focus to the development and maintenance of long term marketing relationships. Therefore, the traditional product-oriented bank became more and more customer-oriented,

focusing on protecting and retainingsourceof actua competitive advantage (Walsh and Lipinski, 2009).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

While there is existing research about customer service in the banking industry around the world, there are no clear conclusions as to the most important customer service dimensions and strategies for satisfying bank customers. As a result of the proliferation of banks,

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customers of late are seen hopping from one bank to the other depending on the kind of services offered. The current mobility crisis has been due to poor service which eventually put customers off. The problems envisaged as a result of poor customer service are damage to corporate image, low profitability, lost of customers (both existing and potential), loss of competitive edge, high cost in attracting customers, bad mouthing and legal implications.

Numerous studies have shown that it cost businesses six times as much to attract a new customer as it would to keep an existing customer. On average 95% of customers who experienced no problems would remain loyal to the business. But what is of more concern is that a dissatisfied customer usually tells an average of nine other people about any bad experience or dissatisfaction. Eighty-five percent (85%) of customers with a complaint or problem, who were not satisfied with the way in which it was handled, would not deal with the same business or company again (Walsh and Lipinski, 2009). The study therefore, looks at the impact of customer service strategies on corporate performance in Ghanaian banks to ensure long term success and development of the banking sector. The study focuses specifically, on BBG (Asafo Branch).

1.3 Objectives of the study

Based on the background and the statement of problem of this study, the main objectives were:

1.      To identify the customer service strategies being pursued at Barclays bank Asafo branch.

2.      To assess the effectiveness of the customer service strategies being pursued.

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3.      To measure the customers perception of the customer strategies used at Asafo branch.

4.      To measure the performance of Barclays Bank Asafo branch.

5.      To identify the major complaints of customers at Barclays Bank.

1.4  Research Questions


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