It’s not about knowing what your customer wants, it’s what you do with it

ABOUT THE RESEARCH|Perceived Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: A Missing Link in Indian Banking Sector by Bindu K. Nambiar, Hareesh N. Ramanathan, Sudhir Rana, Sanjeev Prashar published in Vision-The Journal of Business Perspective, Vol 23, Issue 1

The benchmark for success in any business is customer satisfaction. With an upward spike in competition in retail banking sector and customers are accustomed to superior service in every other sector, banks need to understand the expectations and behavioral traits of its customers to maintain and retain high customer satisfaction. However a mere understanding of the customer needs is no longer helpful, banks have a higher priority of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRMs are more than the software that banks use to understand and interact with its consumers, it needs to explore a deeper personal touch that customers can experience while transacting with the banks. 

By building a personal relationship with its customers, banks can gain advantage through repeat purchases, customer loyalty, and trust. A recent survey of 846 customers who had bank accounts in various private and public sector banks asked them about their level of satisfaction based on their overall banking experience and the likelihood of action taken eventually. The study suggests that banks should employ Customer Value Contribution model thereby treating customers as assets who can bring profit, and it is really important for banks to understand that customers bring profit and in return have to be provided with exceptional quality services. 

It is not just about knowing what your customer wants, the real differentiator for banks could be to predict what the customer wants when and to offer them. The role of CRM is to acquire customers with a perfect fit between their needs and offerings so that the customer perceives more value in bank’s offerings and thereby is more satisfied. This research explored ways in which banks can implement an effective CRM and thereby bring more profit to the banks. 

In general, CRMs are assumed to be technical centric processes, but it is also a strategic function of the organization. Although the customers appreciate cutting edge technology during their interactions, it is the human touch that keeps them coming back for more. The study found that tangibility, empathy, responsiveness and reliability impact the ‘value customers contribute to the bank’s name. 

What can all managers benefit from this research?

Although the research was done keeping banking sector in mind, the findings are relevant to all sectors. In the age of technology where we gather and analyse customer data to enhance customer experience, we might once in a while forget that although technology is making strategy and management easier, it is human beings that add value to it. Moving from customer satisfaction to customer delight, empathising with your customer, responding quickly to queries, building trust, and offering tangible benefits will enhance customer lifetime value and bring more profitability to your brand’s products and services.

If you want to read more about the research findings read: https://tinyurl.com/yywrukud