Factors affecting delivery of stellar customer service in the banking industry in Kenya, case study of Kenya Commercial bank Nairobi county branches
Mosong, Stephen Makewit
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In the 21st century meeting customer expectations is not enough for the increasingly sophisticated client base banks serve. It is important that banks not only meet customer expectations but should also consistently find new ways to exceed customer expectations. The general objective of this study is to examine the factors affecting delivery of stellar customer service at Kenya Commercial Bank. This study adopted a descriptive design. Descriptive research design method involves observing and describing the behavior of a subject without influencing it in any way. The population of the study was KCB's 340 employees based in Nairobi County branches who formed the target population for this study. A sample of 112 employees, representing 32.9% of the total population was chosen using a mix of stratified and simple random sampling. Primary data was collected by administering semi-structured questionnaires. A pilot study was carried out with 15 respondents who were not included in the actual data collection. Qualitative data was processed by identifying broad themes emanating from the data, whose frequencies were then calculated. Quantitative data was analyzed by both descriptive and inferential statistics. A regression model (Adj. R2 = .62) showed that only information technology (IT) skills (t=2.638, p=.010), staff training (t=5.439, p<.00l) and bank processes (t=2.519, p=.013) affected customer service. However, customer attitude was found not to influence customer service (t=.494, p=.623). Staff training was found to have the greatest effect on customer service (β=.455), followed by bank processes and procedures (β=.238), and lastly, IT skills (=.l92). A SEM - PATH model suggested that staff characteristics mediated the influence of IT skills, staff training and bank processes on customer service. The study concluded that if banks want to improve customer service, they must improve their information technology skills, invest in appropriate staff training, and come up with processes and procedures that are standard, simple, integrated and devoid of bureaucracy. In addition, banks should improve "service climates" of their employees, since staff characteristics mediates the influence of IT skills, staff training and bank processes on customer service. The study recommends that banks should train ''universal bankers', install IT systems that are stable and reliable, roll out appropriate training of its staff, and adopt processes and procedures that are standard, simple, fast, integrated and devoid of bureaucracy.