CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ITS IMPROVEMENT IN THE NIGERIAN COMMERCIAL BANKING INDUSTRY
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The origin of banking in Nigeria dated back to the Goldsmith in Verice and up-till date, personal service is till the mainstay of banks output for her customers.
Service is the act of distributing the banks various production packages and marketing strategies implementation. It is also the bulwark of the industry in the face of government guidelines and hash monetary or fiscal policies. This is viewed by Oguntade Adekunle M. in Business Time that by aggressive marketing advertisement with the current Central Bank directives on deregulation of interest rate, banks must work extremely hard to be able to survive.
In Nigeria, the economy has been largely extubitive of classic sellers market in all sectors. Till the recent past, the country is under banked and bank customers have to accept or consume, service without questions as in every seller’s market. No wonder Irojiogu Echerue in his write-up of pricing of Commercial Bank services in Business Times pointed out that so may factors militate against rendering efficient banking services in Nigeria.
But today banking in Nigeria has become more competitive. Riege Anil stated in Business Times that as an effort to improve and provide innovative services, banks especially commercial banks must step in line will present trend in the market, the customers who are the ultimate aim of the bank should be satisfied through deliverance of services that will satisfy the need of the customers, the bank make their profits. considering this fact and also the view that human needs are instable, there is the need for this study to improve the service rendered to customers. The idea of efficient services in the banking industry has been given serious attention not only by the management of bank (UBA), but also by the government. The view is that commercial banks should provide prompt, friendly, coveteous, orderly, efficient and satisfying services to her customer.
In view, of the foreign relationship between a bank and her customers is contractual. This is because baking is about trust. The customers entrust his hard-earned money with the bank for safekeeping. Here the bank is a debtor/agent and the customer is the creditor/principal since she (bank) carries out instruction of the customers in consideration for these services, the bank is paid commission, interest or fee.
In some situation, the bank is the creditor while the customer is the debtor. Such situation like advances or credit facilities to customers. Yet, many banks are known for their slow pace in transacting business. Long queues with customers waiting for towns to cash their cheques or deposit their money. To open an account is characterized by “come today, come tomorrow and next week syndrome. To buy a bank draft is another story. This is bullressed in one of the national daily newspaper 1996 in the treat of WAEC registration, had a cartoon of an employee who was asking for two days casual leave to enable him purchase bank draft.
Another, a bank customer was carrying a mat to the bank so as to sleep while waiting for his turn in the crowded banking hall to cash his cheque, yet another, a bank customer was being turned around by bank staff in his quest for the section of foreign exchange for him to exchange his foreign currency.
According to Gadzama M.W. in his chairman’s statement of Allied Bank Annual Report “that customers are treated with lack of seriousness by bank staff. They believe it is right to deliberately delay customers as a result of their non-challant attitude to work. It is always a daily, occurrence to hear abuses flowing from customers to bank staff over a protracted delay in completing bank transactions.
No wonder the Chief of General staff vice admiral Augustus Aikuomu stressed the point while addressing delegates in the 10th Anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Bankers. He said” rather one observe buoyant balance sheet which are not as a result of quality services, (emphasis mine) or growth stimulation, but a because to a drastic shift in asset portfolio, characterized by a more total avoidance of risk altogether”. That is why there must be need for reorientation in attitude of bank staff towards their customers. In the next decade, banking and nation economic activities will certainly become more complex and sophisticated.
In United Bank for Africa Plc, Agbani Road Enugu, where the case study is based on the story is not different. A brief mention of the origin of the bank will be made. United Bank for Africa Plc, was originated from Britain and France, the British French Bank Limited itself, metamorphosed from Bruci Paris (Banque National Parle commerce et al, Industries) established in 1932. The officially opened to business in December 1949 with a staff strength of twelve.
In 1960, the went public in accordance with the policy and intention of the French owners of bank to sell off their shares to Nigerians on February 1961, the United Bank for Africa was incorporated to take over the assets and liabilities of the British for business under this new name on October 3rd1961. The also serve a good number of customer. But because the two parties (staff and customers) are not satisfied with each other, hence the study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the service ministry effectiveness of management is often by the quality of service rendered. There is in turn determined by the time spent to obtain the service and the circumstance in which it is received. Customers are satisfied when they get the services they want at the right time, right place, right price and in the right manner. As customers and users of bank directly or indirectly are aware of the various problems faced by customers.
- It has been very difficult to understand the characteristics of the bank staff and customers.
- Despite the enhanced status of the bank staff, it has been a problem to know the adequate of resources-human and material resources for effective operations.
- Their had been complaint from the customers of non-satisfactory services.
- More the extent of staff / customer relationship in United Bank for Africa Plc. Is not convincing.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Bearing the stated problem in mind, this study will find a way of correcting the problems and to improve on them. The purpose of the study includes the following:-
- To find out the characteristics of staff and customers of United Bank for Africa Plc.
- To determine the adequacy of the resources, human and material.
- To appraise the extent to which these problem have militated against improvement in the staff customer relationship.
- To determine the extent of customers compliant of non-satisfactory services.
- To evaluate the extent to which commercial banks have succeeded in dispensing their services to their customers.
- 6. To suggest avenues and method of improvement to the identified problems. And in so doing, to further give an insight into this sector of our economy for the future use of professionally qualified and skillfully trained personnel in furthering the staff-customer relationship.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study has been concentrated on United Bank for Africa Plc Agbani Road Enugu as represents the biggest branch of United Bank for Africa Plc East of the Niger.
A study about commercial banking would not be adequate without an analysis of impact of commercial banking on the development of the general economy. But the scope of activity would be practicably impossible within the available time, finance and also with respect to the Limited space for the study to cover whole branch of UBA.
Therefore, this study examines the causes of poor customer services and ways of improving it. Considering this factors, the data and response to questionnaires were limited to staff and customer of Limited Bank for Africa Plc Agbani road Enugu.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based on the problem statements, the research proceeds to formulate the following hypothesis, which will be tested in the course of the study.
Hi: There is no significant difference in the perception of customers and staff on whether the services received in the bank meets the needs and interest of the customers.
Ho: There is significant difference in the perception of customers and staff on the services received in the bank meets the needs and interest of the customers.
Hi: Management is the course of the banks low performance.
Ho: management is not the cause of the banks low performance.
H3: The capital base of UBA Plc are adequate to carry-out it’s lending operations.
Ho: The capital base of UBA Plc are adequate to carry-out it’s lending operations.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It has been said that the ultimate aim of any organization is to obtain “allain” success by way of achieving its objectives. An organization will go to any length by apply strategies that help them meet their target or achieve their goals. Considering the uniqueness of the problems identified in this research, the findings are expected satisfaction of customers needs through improved quality services.
In the exposition on bank/customer relations, Professor Nwankwo G.O expresses the position that customers are the main reason of bank existence. Those bankers are not doing any Favour by entrusting his hard-earned money for safekeeping. They (customers) make greatest demand on bankers, the most important is being getting their money when they want it, is therefore important that an efficient and continuous service system will be crucial in retaining her customers.
Some commercial banks in Nigeria which tends to be indifferent to delay suffered by their customers with competition increasing fast in the banking industry the problems of delays in banks cannot be over looked, especially if they have to retain their customers.
The knowledge of today’s customers is increasing and therefore, their number and knowledge requires even harder efforts. In this light, it is just obligatory and prudent for banks to improve their service. Anything short of that will be fool hardly and may endanger the life of the bank.
The important of this study is to throw more light on some of the causes and effects of unsatisfactory counter services in the Nigerian banks which is the base of the current Nigerian banking system. The bank staff / management will also benefit from this study.
Furthermore, this study will go a long way by educating the commercial banks on how to dispense their services to their customers and also to help the average Nigerian bank customer to learn how to be patience in dealing with the bank staff and not always be in a hurry.
Finally, I hope that this work will provide basis for future research.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Consequently, this work was limited to United Bank for Africa Plc Enugu, because it is where the headquarters is located. For this reason, Enugu will experience large turnout of customers in their branches.
Considering the factor made on the scope of this study of this chapter that is the constraints, notable among them were time and finance factor as the researcher was combining the research work and class work at the some period which are not easy. It is wise for Enugu to be used, which is a bonus area for getting the required data.
This study also was limited to Enugu with the hope that conclusions reached in the cause of the study should apply to other commercial banks.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- 1. CUSTOMER: – According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of current English. Customer s defined as a person who buys things, especially one who gives his custom to a shop.
- SERVICE: – This refers to a system or arrangement that supplies public needs especially for communication.
- MANAGEMENT: – This refers to the body in an organization responsible for planning, organizing, directing and controlling activities in the organization.
- RELATIONSHIP: -This means the connection between one thing, person, idea and another.
- BANK: – Establishment for keeping money other valuables safety.
- STAFF: – Group of assistants working together under a manager or head.
Gadzama M.W. (1989): Allied Bank Annual Report.Chairman statement P. 10.
Irojiogu .E. (1991) July 11: Business Times. Pricing of Commercial Bank service P.5.
Oguntade Adekunle .M. (1992): February 2 Strategic Issues BusinessTimes, marketing of Bank Services P. 3.
Rege Ani (1990): The Alliance Silver Jubilee EditionInterview with Founding Chief Executives P. 15.