Client-centric strategy has been viewed by many authors as a winning strategy to gains and satisfy customers as products and services get more commoditised. Aside from commoditisation of services, the global banking sector has the additional problem of loss of trust and high dissatisfaction post the global financial crisis. Silo structures have also been found to hamper client-centricity in banks. In the South African banking sector, all banks have stated that client-centricity would form a key part of their strategies to win over and service customers. However, the prevalence of client-centricity in their strategies remains unexplored.
This research set out to measure the extent of client-centric practices used in South African banks from and triangulate these with customer perceptions. The study looked at four pillars of client-centricity from the available literature. These pillars were targeting, value proposition development, metrics and collaboration. The research also investigated the presence of some benefits of client-centricity, namely, trust, customer satisfaction, positive word of mouth, cross selling and customer loyalty were investigated in this research.
The study was conducted on one of the major South African banks. It was a mixed methods approach with a sample 57 senior bank officials to provide insights on the strategy and 394 other staff members who were surveyed as bank customers. The results show that while the bank states client-centricity as a key imperative, targeting and definition of their market is mostly segment driven and not client driven. As such, customers are not used in the product development process and metrics used in the bank are primarily product based with relationship and engagement metrics used to a lesser extent. Cross departmental collaboration is lacking despite a belief among senior bank staff that other departments are willing and able to improve value propositions to clients. While the client-centric practices were not used in the bank, customers in the survey indicated that they trust their bank, are satisfied, say positive things about their bank, are likely to use the bank for future needs and are loyal to their bank. The results did show that while the benefits were realised, over a third do not believe the bank they work for is not client-centric.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.