CUSTOMER RELATIONS PRACTICE AND PATRONAGE OF BANKS (A STUDY OF FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA, UYO)
- Background of the Study
Communication is acknowledged all over the world as the most distinctive factor for human interaction. Over the years it has become needful for organization to relate with customers. Hitherto internet era in the world, customers largely selected their banks based on how convenient locale of the branch was to their homes or offices with the advent of new technologies in the business of banking, such as internet banking, mobile banking and Automated Teller Machines (ATM), customers can now freely choose any bank for their transactions.
The fundamental purpose of customer relations practice is to establish the flow of mutual understanding based on trust, knowledge and full information between an organization and its customers.
Customer relations practice in all ramifications of human life is very vital and can only be successful if the ground work is properly done and its highest standard are maintained.
Customer relations starts from good manners of approach of an organization to other advanced forms of customers; relations. “There is an adage that says good word brings kola from the pocket, while bad words bring machete”. A company or organization that relates well with the customers will enjoy good patronage from its customers and its customers will speak well of the company or organization where by other listeners are encouraged to be customers as well.
Customer relation practice is an effective means of gaining and retaining customers. According to Ogunsanya, (1991) many organizations are becoming more successful as a result of the implementation of strategic customers relations practices. A successful business enterprise or an unsuccessful one makes the difference between good public or customers’ relations practice and poor approach.
The British institute of customer relations (1982) defines customer relations as the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its customers. The part of this definition which requires lots of emphasis is the need for customers’ relations practice to be deliberate, planned and sustained. Relationship between an organization and it customer is fundamental to the growth and survival of the organization, especially an organization that deals with the production of goods and services for people’s consumption.
Mutual understanding and motivation are the potent factors for success and strategic customer relations that can bring in those potent factors. Customer relation refers to the communication within the company’s or organization network that is: employees, employers and existing customers, customer relations practices managing a company’s’ interactions with customers, client and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automated and synchronize business processes principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service and technical support, (Shaw, 2000). The overall goods are to find, attract and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the food, and reduce the cost of marketing and client services.
- Statement of the Problem
Frustration and anger has however been illustrated in some banks due to lack of effective customers service and relations. Many customers today are not satisfied and do not trust their banking service because of the perceived lack of fulfillments. Some argued that the quality and level of customer services have decreased in recent years and this can be attributed to lack of support or understanding at the executive and middle management levels of a customer service policy.
In the banking environment customers relations emerged as one of the areas that have attracted management attention in recent years. Today, with intense competitions and innovations by banks is an increasing effort by banks to improve their customer relations based on trust, respect and value.
The importance of depositors and share holders as the life-wire of banking institution cannot be over- emphasized. As the banking industry grows so also is the growth of depositors. In view of this, what kinds of customer relations practice exist in first bank of Nigeria, uyo? How effective those customer relations practice turns in much patronage for the bank?