Customer Services in Commercial Banks

Customer service is the service provided in support of a bank’s core products. Customer service often includes answering questions; handling complaints. Customer service can occur on site (as when an onstage employee helps a customer or answers a question) or it can occur over the phone or the Internet. Quality customer service is essential to building cordial customer relationship.

Banking being a service industry, a lot depends on efficient and prompt customer service. Customer service is the most important duty of the banking operations. Prompt and efficient service with smile will develop good public relations reduce complaints and increase business.

Why is Customer Service Important?

  • Changing customer expectations: Today the customer is more demanding and more sophisticated than he or she was thirty years ago.
  • The increased importance of customer service: With changing customer expectations, competitors are seeing customer service as a competitive weapon with which they differentiate their products and services.
  • The need for a relationship strategy: To ensure that a customer service strategy that will create a value preposition for customers should be formulated implemented and controlled. It is necessary to give it a central role and not one that is subsumed in the various elements of the marketing mix.

The customer is the kingpim in growth organizations like commercial banks. Only those institutions which work according to his dictates will flourish. Quality, Consistency and Durability at low price are the final expectations of a customer. Quality will have to be unambiguous, of world class quality. Quality cannot be of minimum acceptable standards. Customer responsiveness must be quick and also competent. Speed, performance and cost will be the new values “mantra” for success.

The ten key areas of customer’s services to be attended timely and regularly are:

  1. Submission of statement of A/Cs to customers
  2. Updating of savings pass books.
  3. Teller system efficiency.
  4. Cleanliness and Upkeep of premises.
  5. Intermediate Credit for institution cheques/land bills.
  6. Advance intimation to customers for rewards of Term Deposits Receipts on maturity.
  7. Advance for Debit/credit to accounts.
  8. Punctuality of staff.
  9. Handling of complaint register.
  10. Maintain a complaint register.

Customer’s dissatisfaction in the banking industry is neither recent nor unknown. This is mainly due to delays in handling transactions across the counter in collections, update of passbooks supply of statements of accounts, etc.

Failure to provide prompt and efficient customer service is likely to lead to reduction in the number of customers and they may have to face closure. To event such situation the following improvements in the customer services may be carried out:

  1. Personal relations of the bank employee with customers will improve customer satisfaction. 1 service with smile should be the motto of every bank employee.
  2. Rapid customer services should be provided through automation of work and simplification of procedures.
  3. ATM’s may be introduced in all the branches of the banks, based upon the volume of transactions. This shall facilitate non-stop banking.
  4. Credit Cards Services, Debit Card Services, which should be provided to the customers, must a link service with all the banks and branches if possible to facilitate the customer and the business organizations.
  5. E-mail service made freely available at all banking centers.
  6. Foreign Exchange transactions are to be extended to all the branches to facilitate trade and industries.
  7. All the customers are not homogenous in their needs. Hence need based schemes may be introduced.
  8. Totally deregulated interest rate structure should be there.
  9. The banking staff must be trained to understand the customer’s psychology, so they may provide customer service in a qualified manner.
  10. Educating the customers will increases better utilisation of banking services.

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