Understanding what is important to individual customers and customer segments is key to understanding the future of banking in Africa.
KPMG has released its Africa Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey, which reflects the results of the firm’s interaction with more than 33,000 retail banking customers spread across 18 different African markets.
This report has several examples of retail banks that ‘punch above their weight’ in many satisfaction measures – often by leveraging technology or new business models to leap ahead of their better-funded or better-known competitors. And there are plenty of examples of large regional banks that have extended their customer service prowess into new markets.
Pierre Fourie, KPMG Partner in Financial Services, says that it is imperative to appreciate the individual customer. “To succeed in today’s banking environment, bank executives need to understand their customers, which includes their preferences, their channel usage, their needs and their satisfaction.”
The report revealed that customers are still unsatisfied about financial stability; but what they primarily want from their banks is enhanced high-quality service, more innovation and greater convenience.
Banks in Tanzania, Burundi, South Africa, Angola as well as Ghana, should be particularly focused on improving customer service, as customers in these markets were the most likely to cite excellent customer service as a key differentiator when choosing a bank. In total, 12 of the 18 countries included in the survey rated exceptional customer service as the most important reason for maintaining a banking relationship.
Tanja Ferreira, Head of Customer Solutions in KPMG Management Consulting states that the results show that ‘customer satisfaction’ is not a single lever or discreet project that banking executives can simply invest into, activate or install. Rather, it is a complex web of facets and perceptions, all of which combine to create the customer experience.
“We believe that the data within this report provides valuable benchmarks and important indicators for Africa’s banking executives. However, in addition, we recognise that the data on its own tells half the story,” says Fourie.
When it comes to interactions between employees and customers, 91 percent say that staff’s attitude and their knowledge of products is important, and almost 83 percent say that they are satisfied with these measures. However, while customers believe that prompt responses to their complaints are equally important, just 77 percent are satisfied with their banks in this regard.
Additionally, sentiment around delivering fast, accurate and timely transactions, the report revealed that 89 percent say that the timeliness of transaction processing is important to their satisfaction, but, unfortunately, 33 percent are currently satisfied with this measure. Similarly, 90 percent say that receiving accurate and complete information from banks is important, but 34 percent are satisfied with the information that they receive.