Zenith tops KPMG’s 10 Most Customer-Focused banks in Nigeria




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zenithZenith tops, Access sits bottom while Ecobank joins those totally missing in KPMG’s ratings of ’s 10 most customer-focused banks divided in three segments of Retail, SMEs and Corporate Customer Banking. But the gap between the top and lowest ranked is getting tighter, the research finds.
International Professional services giant KPMG has published its customer-focused ratings of Nigerian banks. The ratings which feature 10 banks across each of its three segments has Zenith, Diamond, GT and Chartered among its strongest performers while Access, Skye, and Sterling sit bottom as worst performers. The advisory firm gave ATM efficiency, excellent customer service, staff attitude and financial stability as the factors customers used in judging banks.
However, the KPMG report avers that there is a continuous up in investments by Nigerian banks towards enhancing service quality and creating better customer experiences pointing the marked improvements in the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) across the three customer segments. The retail segment most demonstrates the heightened customer-focus of banks with the gap between the top and lowest ranked banks falling 7 percentage points from 12 percentage points a year ago and nearly 19 percentage points in 2009. This in turn led the consequent rise in the industry satisfaction index value from 71.9 percent last year 72.8 percent in 2014.
While Zenith bank holds sway at the top of the Retail segment for the second year running, Diamond bank make the leap from 4th  2nd as GTBank remains third. Access Bank sit bottom in the Retail and SME segment and do not make the cut in the top ten of the corporate customer segment. KPMG highlights the ATM as the key channel for retail customers with 96% of them highlighting cash availability as one of most important service measures.
The SME segment sees Zenith Bank climb to the top from second position last year followed by Diamond Bank and Chartered Bank in third place. Skye Bank occupy the second from bottom position going one step worse in the corporate customer segment, while Stanbic Bank floats in the middle in all three segments. Perhaps the best news for the bottom banks in the SME segment is the narrowing of the CSI gap – from 9.3 percentage points last year to 7.7 percentage points.[eap_ad_2]
Zenith bank wraps up the segments with another 1st position in the Corporate customers segment while GTBank and Citibank followed closely behind. UBA made its only appearance in the ratings in this segment at a lowly 8th as Sterling bank stayed stuck to 9th like in the Retail segment. While the biggest gains in this segment were in the area of convenience, KPMG explained that the higher satisfaction levels it recorded were driven more by the performance of the top five banks than for the industry as a whole. Completeness and accuracy of information provided topped the list of important issues for nearly all corporations surveyed while the biggest area requiring improvement remains knowledge of the customer’s business.
Explaining the most determining factors of bank-customer relations, the KMPG research stated that “with customers now having more choices than ever before, a positive personal experience or professional touch may often be the differentiator. Whilst one might expect older retail customers to have a bias for financial stability, findings show that excellent customer service and the quality of customer experience is the resounding factor across all age groups for why customers choose to stay with a bank”.
It added that an overwhelming majority (92 percent) of those who reported excellent customer service as primary reason for maintaining banking relationships also rated staff attitude as being important to banking relationships – more than any other service measure.
The report named excellent customer service and quality of customer experience as the resounding factor across all age groups for why customers choose to stay with a bank. It narrated thus; “One customer who has operated a current account with bank since the sixties still prefers to travel the 30km journey to bank branch because of the quality of interaction he enjoys with the bank’s staff. In words, “the relationships I have with some of the bank staff I’ve met here still endear me to the bank. The little personal touches I receive such as receiving a text message on my birthday is priceless.”
Service trends and innovations in other industries like Retail, IT and FMCG, KPMG said, continue to raise customers’ expectations of service quality. However, the firm attests that majority of Nigerian banks are rising up to this challenge, evidenced by the increase in the of service improvement initiatives rolled out by banks. The report cautioned that for the initiatives to record lasting successes, they be part of the bank’s ongoing journey of transformation.
“Of the four-in-ten customers who have multiple bank relationships, fewer customers (7 percent in 2014 compared to 10 percent last year) expressed the willingness to change their banking relationships. Over half of those who will switch banks will do so because of service quality issues”, the report said.
“Overall, we found a largely loyal banking – 55 percent of customers will ‘absolutely’ recommend their banks to others. Interestingly, loyalty trends did not vary when viewed by the duration of the banking relationship. However, as expected, satisfied customers were more likely to recommend their banks”, it added.  (VENTURES )[eap_ad_3]