Nigerian Banks - Online Customer Service
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Nigerian Banks - Online Customer Service

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A look into how the 24 Banks in Nigeria offer Online Customer Services

A look into how the 24 Banks in Nigeria offer Online Customer Services

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  • 1. Nigerian Banks’ Websites
    A look into how the 24 Banks in Nigeria offer Online Customer Services
    July 2009
    from
    researchist.info
    Researchist.info is part of the Darrell Hill Consulting Group
  • 2. A Timid Approach, Unsure.
    • We looked at all the 24* Banks in Nigeria and discovered that most have a timid approach to Online Customer Services whilst others are not sure what to do.
    A mere 2 have capabilityto apply for products & services online
    Only 9 have interactive chat facilities and of the 9; Noneproactively recognises the presence of a customer
    3 have online customer support helpdesk system and None have defined service levels
    An impressive 16 have FAQ sections; but the relevance of the answers are questionable
    None (0) have online community capabilities and destinations
    *Citibank Nigeria Limited does not have a country specific website.
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  • 3. Contacting the Bank
    • All banks can be contacted via web based forms, customer service emails or both
    • 4. Contact forms for Spring Bank for example gets delivered to “non existent” Citizens Bank email box
    • 5. Only 14% of the banks acknowledge receipt of message
    • 6. None specifies a period before which the message will be acted upon
    • 7. Less than half respond to queries over a period of two weeks
    NOTES
    • All the banks were contacted via emails and/or forms requesting more information on opening a Domiciliary account
    • 8. Read receipts were requested for banks contacted via emails
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  • 9. Interactive Chat Facility
    • Only 9 out of the 24 have interactive chat facilities
    • 10. Of the 9 with Interactive chat facilities; none was available at all times during work hours (8am to 6pm) – Nigerian time
    • 11. 5 out of the 9 Banks appear to have installed free or cheaper versions of Chat software thereby diluting the brand of the Bank
    • 12. None “pops out” on exit from the website
    • 13. Access Bank and Zenith Bank have their Chat facility hidden under a label “e-help” which is not easily understood
    NOTES
    • Work hours was based on 08:00am to 18:00pm Nigerian Time (GMT + 1)
    • 14. Fully licensed copies of chat software allow personalised branding and no reference to provider.
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  • 15. Online Applications
    • Almost all the banks do not allow customers make online application for products & services
    • 16. Only 2 Banks (Union Bank and Eco Bank) allow online application for bank products and services
    • 17. Online application forms used by Union Bank don’t appear to be purposefully built
    • 18. A majority of the banks only allow forms to be downloaded and completed offline
    • 19. Standard Chartered offers two next steps (find a branch or send an email) and no application forms online
    NOTES
    • Products and Services include all those listed on the banks websites.
    • 20. Downloadable forms are in pdfs
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  • 21. Listening through Surveys
    • Only 6 websites allow ability to collate information via online surveys or questionnaires
    • 22. Zenith Bank for example requires customers to opt in to participate in surveys which appear professional
    NOTES
    • P
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  • 23. FAQs
    • 16 websites have Frequently Asked Questions
    • 24. Relevance of content within the FAQ section may not be adequate
    • 25. Oceanic Bank for example have an FAQ section with only one question and no answer.
    • 26. Diamond Bank has an FAQ section that is totally blank
    NOTES
    • What banking products and services are offered by Citibank Nigeria.
    • 27. GT Bank FAQ taken as “Quick Links”
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  • 28. Search Ability
    • An impressive 88% provide the ability to search contents within the websites
    • 29. Returned results from search were generally not so impressive.
    • 30. GT Bank for example returns the names of its board of directors when you search for the word “current account”
    • 31. A search for “current account” on Zenith Bank’s website returns results that are related to current accounts in competitor banks.
    NOTES
    • Search results from Zenith Bank are as a result of “sponsored ads” put in place by “atomz”. This also dilutes the Zenith brand.
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  • 32. Website Help Desk System
    • 88% do not have a help desk system within their website where users can submit queries and track its progress
    • 33. GTBank had in built help desk software to allow customers submit and track support requests. (See notes)
    • 34. Over half of the banks included “complaint” or “query” as an option to select when contacting the bank through forms
    NOTES
    • This is solely based on the help desk description on the GTBank website; however, registration for access failed on attempt and this error couldn’t be reported
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  • 35. Online Communities
    • Zero have online communities built within their sites for customers.
    NOTES
    • This is based on public view of website. Perhaps, online communities exist for bank account holders only.
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  • 36. Our Take
    On Interactive Chats
    • Interactive chat lets customer service reach out to a customer visiting its website in a one-on-one interaction to offer assistance or to push promotional offers. This is already done in Bank branches across the country and the website should be taken as a branch of the bank. As such, there is no reason why Banks’ websites should not have an Interactive chat facility and then appointing a dedicated staff to be responsible for the channel. For banks that have, the chat facility should be boldly represented on the website, unless of course, there is no customer service representative on the other side.
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    On Online Applications
    • The ability to apply for Banks’ products and services via their websites should have zero risk posed to the Bank. Although the full completion of the account opening process cannot be done online, we believe that Banks are missing a tremendous opportunity to win the “eBuyer” customers who are generally on the increase in today’s technology age. Banks need to be bolder in creating a working online product application system that will satisfy at the least 90% of the application process and subject to only passport photographs and signatures.
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  • 37. Our Take
    On Website Support Systems
    • Sending a support request through forms or email address provided does not give the customer a sense of logging a request. Providing visitors with an opportunity to log a request, have the ability to monitor the status of the request and know when to expect a solution via SLA is strategic thinking in online customer support. This will provide the Bank an opportunity to profile patterns of requests, users and other information that can guide in refining existing or creating new products or service offering.
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    On FAQs
    • FAQs should be viewed as a part of an entire knowledge management system deployed within an organisation. The extent of details within the FAQ section of a website goes a long way to tell how information is readily available within the organisation itself. Using this interpretation, our take is that knowledge management systems within the Banks in Nigeria are not extensively used. Although FAQ sections of websites are currently static, there is an opportunity to allow the availability of database-web interfacing methods which will provide a way to scale-up your FAQ system to permit dynamic creation of web pages from the enquiries submitted by customers through your website support systems
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  • 38. Our Take
    On Search Abilities
    • Considering the amount of information on Banks website, searching and finding information should be a key area of opportunity to provide customers with the correct information they need. However, this is not the case. Your website is a great way to communicate with existing customers and attract new ones - especially if visitors find the information that they are looking for quickly. You can give visitors the same kind of search relevancy, speed and ease of use that they are used to on search engines and if well deployed, you can easily customise the search results interface to integrate with your site's design.
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    On Listening through Surveys
    • Listening through surveys gathers opinion from consumers on the given aspects of a product or service under survey and defines the verdict. This is an area with vast opportunities that the Banks have totally ignored at this time of powerful social networking. Banks are able to add more value to their customers by using the online survey tool which can run 24x7 and on various topics for picking up vital leads to plan new venture, business expansion, product betterment, merger, diversification etc. We challenge any bank for instance to run a website survey on “providing the ability to make online applications for its products and services”
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  • 39. Our Take
    On Online Communities
    • This is an area that Banks should immediately exploit to increase sales and product awareness. Your happy customers are already voicing their opinions in online forums and that’s why social media marketing is fast becoming a key weapon in every marketer’s arsenal. Online communities can be used to encourage consumer advocacy and drive positive word-of-mouth about your brand, products and services. Reviews give people confidence when assessing new products. Customer comments and blogs that evangelise about brands encourage new business and grow sales across all areas of your business
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    On Defining Service Levels
    • Customers need to know when their questions or queries will be answered. Defining service levels help record a common understanding about services, priorities, and responsibilities. This is not to say that an agreement should be made with customers; it is better customer service strategy to inform a web customer that a reply will be provided within a specified period of time. Linking this with inbuilt helpdesk system creates a powerful customer service tool that creates measurability, accountability and most of all, ability to retain existing and win new customers
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  • 40. Research Notes
    • Research conducted between 01 July and 14 July, 2009 and the results are therefore a snapshot in time. Changes made online after 14 July are not reflected in this research
    • 41. List of Banks in Nigeria and their respective website address were taken from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria - http://www.cenbank.org/Supervision/finstitutions.asp
    • 42. Our research was limited against Citibank Nigeria Limited as it does not have a country specific website.
    • 43. All banks, product names and any registered and unregistered trademarks mentioned are used for identification purposes only and remain the exclusive property of their respective owners
    • 44. While every attempt has been made to conduct a thorough research, the nature of the Internet – our only source for this research – is such that errors can be made
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  • 45. For More Information
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    assistant@researchist.info
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  • 46. What can Banks in Nigeria do to improve Online Customer Service?
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