Analysis of the Factors Affecting the Size of the Customer Base at Stanbic Bank
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This study sought to analyze the factors affecting the size of the customer base at Stanbic Bank Uganda (SBU). The focus of this study was motivated by the shrinking customer numbers at the bank from 2016 through to 2018. The objectives of the study were: to identify the existing strategies used by SBU to increase its customer base; to identify lapses in efforts of SBU to increase its customer base and to design strategies that can be recommended to SBU to increase the size of its customer base. The factors that have the prospect of affecting the size of the customer base were identified to include: service quality, technology and innovation, trust, customer value, customer service and product diversification. A cross sectional survey design was adopted where quantitative data was collected with the aid of a structured, self-administered questionnaire from a sample of 384 customers using convenience sampling from a population of 158,743 customers in bank branches across the central region in Uganda. The measuring instrument was tested for validity and reliability while the data collected was captured and analyzed for descriptive statistics using SPSS. The study findings revealed that the existing strategies used by SBU to increase its customer base include ensuring that: the staff are knowledgeable about the bank products and are polite and professional; the customers use debit/ATM cards and that the bank made online banking platform accessible and easily usable by the customers; the staff are helpful and interested in solving customer problems; the bank has convenient working hours; having committed staff that are friendly, courteous and provide guidance and direction to customers when at branches; convenient opening up of deposit accounts; The study findings also revealed the lapses that SBU needs to address, to include: lack of sufficient staff to attend to all customer needs and inability to respond to customer queries swiftly; as well as the difficulty and inaccessibility of the mobile banking platform. Also, this study found that the staff were not recommending the products and services that best suit the customers and that the customers were not always informed of any changes to their charges in a timely fashion. In addition, it was highlighted that there are unfavorable bank charges and conditions around getting loans; which is coupled with the many clients who are not sure whether the bank’s products and services can be accessed outside Uganda. The study recommends that for SBU to succeed in maintaining and increasing the customer base, there is need to revise bank charges and loan conditions, offer more customer service support, improve communication to customers about products and services in and outside Uganda and making mobile banking easy and accessible. Therefore, the bank should also tailor products and services to customer needs.