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Customer satisfaction is a paramount important subject for service firms. The current study investigates customer satisfaction of one of the largest retail bank in state of Kuwait. A total of 65 questionnaires have been randomly distributed to NBK bank customers. Using descriptive statistics methods and ANOVA(1) test (to compare between different means), the result of this study suggests slightly differences in the degree of customer satisfaction (Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti customers) in term of services provided by NBK bank. Kuwaiti customers are mostly satisfied with: confidence in NBK management, the quality of services provided by NBK, availability of ATM in several locations, NBK image and reputation and safety of funds. while Non-Kuwaiti customers are satisfied with confidence in NBK management, the quality service of E-banking provided by NBK, Easy to use ATM, NBK image and reputation, and the quality of services provided by NBK. While The factors that Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti customers are lest satisfied with are those factors related to financial aspects such as; interest rate on loans, availability of loans, ease of obtaining loans and Interest rate on saving account.
Key words: customer satisfaction, NBK, Kuwait.
In today's highly competitive and increasingly consolidated world, offering personalized and differentiating services can be critical to a bank's success. Retail banks as service provider, understand the value of building long-term relationships with customers and appreciate the meaning of customer satisfaction. With a range of services offered - online services, home equity, convenient location, credit cards, and debit cards - successful financial institution aims to serve customers by offering services and products that meet both personal and business banking needs.
Customer satisfaction is critical for any business, as it has a direct impact on its profit (Levesque and McDougall, 1996, Reichheld, 1995 and Reichheld et al. 2000). Satisfaction affects customer retention and thus companies market share and profitability (Rust and Subramanian, 1993). The customer satisfaction is not impulse but an evaluation relationship that develop between customer and service provider after buying goods and services. Marketing research deemed that customer satisfaction is a result of both pre-purchase expectations and post purchase perception of service experience (Oliver, 1997). Satisfaction is the result from any aspect, whether or not it is quality related. The dimensions underlying quality judgments can formed by a large number of non-quality issues, such as needs, equity, and perceptions of fairness (Taylor et al, 1994; Howard and Sheth, 1996).
Client's satisfaction, rather than retention, has traditionally been the focus of research and managerial efforts (Bitner, 1990). The Prior literature mainly focus on customer satisfaction, and the result of studies conducted in this area reveals that strong linkages between service quality dimensions (e.g. fast responses to clients enquiries) and overall customer satisfaction (Anderson and Sullivan, 1993). However, debates have been arises of whether clients satisfaction is an antecedent of service quality judgments (Bitner, 1990; Parasuraman, et al, 1985, Anderson and Sullivan, 1993; Cronin and Taylor, 1992; Taylor et al, 1994).
The literatures reveals that the key pressure in the determining of consumers' future purchase intentions can be only determine by understanding customer satisfaction (Taylor and Baker, 1994). Satisfied customers are those whom likely to tell others of their favorable experiences and therefore engage in positive word of mouth promotion (File and Prince, 1992; Richens, 1983). The positive word of mouth advertising is particularly useful in collectivist sociality cultures like Asia and Middle East countries where social life is structured in a way to improve social relationships with others in the society (Hofstede, 1980; Hall and Hall, 1987). Displeased customers, on the other hand, are expected to switch brands and engage in negative word of mouth advertising. The current study aims to consider expletory approach in attempts to understand customer satisfaction of one of largest bank in the state of Kuwait.
1-BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The banking sectors in Kuwait play a main role in improving economic growth. It comprises sixteen banks including six local conventional banks, two specialized banks, three Shariah compliant banks and five branches of foreign banks. The banking sectors consolidated grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12% during the period 2001-2006 with total assets reaching KD 26.9 bn (USD 934 bn) at the end of 2006. (Institute of Banking Studies, 2007). The following figure present comparative parameter for Kuwaiti banks
The conventional and Islamic banks in Kuwait's offer a huge range of services that include current and saving accounts, with various terms and interest rates options, including on-line enquiries and cash withdrawals twenty-four hours a day from ATM's at different locations and commercially active areas in the country.
Kuwaiti banking sector remains one of the important drivers of economic activity after the oil sector and is expected to benefit from the growth of the economy. Kuwaiti banking sector persist to benefit from the high level of oil prices and the resulting positive business and consumer sentiment in the country. This fact has lead to high investment of individuals and increases the foreign investment. These factors along with higher net interest margins helped Kuwaiti banks deliver strong earnings growth in 2007 and so far in 2008 before the economic crisis. Also close regulatory supervision and policy measures which liberalized the banking sector has become one of the strongest in the region as a whole. It's widely recognized that Kuwaiti banks are not only competing GCC countries banks, but Middle East banking industry as a whole.
One of the biggest bank in Kuwait is National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) begins its operations in 1952. It's a full service commercial bank and is mainly active in the fields of retail and private banking, corporate, investment banking and asset management services. As of year-end 2008, the bank's distribution network comprised 64 branches in Kuwait, an off-shore and an on-shore branch in Bahrain, a branch in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and branches in New York, Jordan and Singapore, as well as representative offices in Thailand and Vietnam. The number of staff employed by the group reached more than 2,921 for the year ended 2008.
NBK has a strong position and reputation in domestic retail banking and it remains the bank's primary catalyst for profitability and growth. The gamut of products and continuous expansion complements well with the rising domestic liquidity levels which will help to drive the loan book expansion for the bank in the medium term. It also has the distinction of being the lowest cost - customer deposit taker among Kuwaiti commercial banks, an achievement that has provided the bank with a solid platform for profitability in the current rising interest rate environment. All these factors warrant an investigation whether the NBK customers are satisfied with the service provided the following figures debit the development in deposit base and loan profit of NBK.
The published report of NBK reveals that the net profits for the first quarter of 2007 stood at KD64mn, an increase of 13% as compared to the same quarter previous year indicating high rate of profit. The bank reported a return on average assets of 3.2% and a return on average equity of 29.3%. Deposits from banks and financial institutions increased from KD1.4bn in 2003 to reach KD2.3bn in 2006, recording a CAGR of 18.4% for the period 2003-06. Correspondingly, the share of deposits from banks and financial institutions to overall balance sheet increased from 25.4% in 2003 to 29.1% in 2006. (www.globalinv.net).
NBK now is a well-established firm, repetition and market leadership in all business segments all over GCC countries. NBK investment banking activities are being expanded to meet growing demand and to provide superior expertise across the Middle East. NBK employees of highly qualified professionals continuously strive to secure for their customers optimal and cost-effective solutions. The current study critically reviews the literature surrounding the concept of customer satisfaction. It is imperative to understand the implication of the customer satisfaction concept taking into consideration its effectiveness and implementation challenges for NBK customers.
Over all, we can say that the history of banking sector in Kuwait reveals that NBK has consistently been firs to introduce innovative solutions of online delivery. Moreover, NBK renowned even among Gulf countries banks by its global network of branches, subsidiaries and representative offices located in the international and regional financial centers. NBK is scoring the highest rate allover bank in Gulf region and in the Middle East by the major rating agencies (e.g. Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings). NBK also consider on the tops the list of "emerging market banks" by Moody's Financial Strength Rating.
Worldwide rating agencies has recognized NBK strength in its solid financial position, a conservative approach to risk management and its well-diversified and strong franchise, dominant market share, technological sophisticated, and stable and capable management team. NBK endeavors to shoulder its social responsibility through launching support & sponsorship initiatives geared towards sustainable development and enhancement of the various social philanthropic and community activities
Prior studies on the customer satisfaction were conducted mainly on USA, Europe and some of East Asia countries. Few studies have incorporated in GCC countries in general and in the state of Kuwait in practical. The fierce competition in Kuwait banking sector with rapid market entry of new financial service provider warrant an investigation of how customer are satisfied or dissatisfied with service provider. The customer satisfaction also presents challenge of a more in-depth understanding of the complex relationship between the degree of services that provided by banks in Kuwait and customer satisfaction of these banks. Although the range and variety of products available to customers have extended, the management of the banking relationship continues to be problematic. In part this may reflect failures on the part of the banks. In addition, the researcher argues that such problems may also arise as a consequence of the reluctance of some customers to participate in the banking relationship.
The literature reveals a shortage and lack in published study that measure of satisfaction and captures the degree of satisfaction with banks service customers in Kuwait. This lack hampers our understanding of the impact of diverse bank service options or strategies on outcomes such as trust, loyalty and word-of-mouth. In addition, the continued use of diverse, non-standardized instruments to measure what is essentially the same construct continues to place a question mark on the general of the empirical studies that have attempted to measure satisfaction with bank services.
3-THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Customer satisfaction is a key issue for marketing managers, particularly those in services industries. However, it appears that achieving customer satisfaction is often the end target, as evidenced by the stress on customer satisfaction surveys. The Purpose of this study is to investigate present customer satisfaction of NBK in the state of Kuwait. The current study attempts to explore and reveals significance and importance of various determinants of customer satisfaction in National Bank of Kuwait (NBK).
The study also aims to segment the sample due to different nationality. Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti customers are significantly different in their perceptions of the relative importance of services offered by NBK and their degree of satisfactions. The researcher believed that, the customer satisfaction is assumed to lead to attitude change, repeat purchase, and brand loyalty, lower costs of attracting new customer, and lower costs of handling returns and complaints. Also the relationship marketing focuses on keeping customers and building a relationship with them, thus enhancing customer loyalty. It is now being increasingly recognized that the greater the satisfaction the customer has with the firm and its products, the more likely long term customer retention and improved profitability are.
4-THE SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
Customer satisfaction is a theoretical as well as practical important issue for all of service providers, marketers and consumer researchers (Churchill and Suprenant, 1982; Moutinho and Goode, 1995; Naser et al., 1999; Piercy, 1994). Customer satisfaction is a key outcome of marketing activity whereby it serves as a link with various stages of consumer buying behavior. For example, if customers are satisfied with a particular service offering after its use, which they likely engage the customers in repeat purchase and attempt line extensions (East, 1997).
Customer satisfaction is considered the fundamental nature of success in today's highly competitive market. Customer satisfaction is increasingly becoming a corporate target strategy to gain quality in their services (Bitner and Hubbert, 1994). In this context, an understanding of customer satisfaction is thus of great importance to marketers (Churchill and Suprenant, 1982; Levesque and McDougall, 1996).
The theoretical part of the research is focused on literature review. While the second part, an empirical research carried out through structured questionnaires. The current study contributes by providing new evidence on the practicality and usefulness of customer satisfaction for the banks' marketing strategies, as well as the important of using segmentation approach to identify the customer satisfaction of different segment.
In the state of Kuwait, customer satisfaction is the key to the profitability of retail banking, it implies loyalty and long-term relationship, which is cheaper than attracting new customers are. The present study seeks to provide empirically based answers for the following research questions:
- What are the factors of retail banking that lead to the satisfaction/dissatisfaction of customers?
- Are customers satisfied with services provided by National Bank of Kuwait?
- What are the most factors related to Kuwaiti customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction?
- What are the most factors related to Non-Kuwaiti customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction?
- What are the differences between Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti customer satisfaction?
6-LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The literature reviews indicate unstable and shifting in bank customer satisfaction related to financial services, and this shifting comfort the contumely studying customer satisfaction from time to time to enhance bank manager in taking their decision in improving services and overcome shortages, thus the result of this study is not necessary to be significant after several years. Another limitation lies in the differences of demographic and personal factors. The result of customer satisfaction in NBK cant not generalized for others banks in Kuwait. Finally, other studies are required to depict other demographic factors, such as education, age and income.
7-ORGANIZATION OF STUDY
This study expected to comprise six major chapters. Chapter 1 provides an introduction problem statement, purpose and significance of the study. Chapter 2 presents an extensive review of the literature on customer satisfaction for laying out the theoretical foundation of the study. Chapter 3 presents research methodology, it discuses the population and sampling, data collection procedures, questions of the research and instrumentation. Chapter 4 presents the result of data analysis. Chapter 5 reveals the discussion of the study. Finally, chapter 6 presents Summary, conclusion and other implications for future studies.
In this chapter, the researcher presents previous studies to be the framework to understand and systematically analyze customer's satisfaction of retail banking.
Customer satisfaction has been recognized as one of the most essential theoretical as well as practical framework for most marketers and customer researchers (Jamal, 2004). Customer satisfaction brings many benefits since satisfied customers are not price sensitive, consume more services, less influenced by competitors and stay loyal for long time (Zineldin, 2000). Literatures reviews have highlighted that the average cost of keeping an existing customer is less than the cost of getting a new customer by less than a fifth (Blattberg and Deighton, 1996; Rosenberg and Czepiel, 1984; Fites, 1996; Vandermerwe, 1996; Christopher et al., 1991; Filiatrault and Lapierre, 1997). It takes up to more than six years before a bank can recoup the cost of acquiring a new retail bank customer (Murphy, 1996). Customer satisfaction reduces bank costs and improves services quality (Cooil et al., 2007).
Prior literatures deemed satisfaction as an attitude or evaluation relationship that formed by a customer comparing pre-purchase expectations and their perceptions of the performance they actually did receive (Oliver 1980). Customer satisfaction is the main determinant of long-term relationship (Oliver, 1980 and Cooil et al., 2007). Measures customer satisfaction typically capture consumer long-term expectations towards service provided, as well as how far the provided service is from their ideal (Soderlund, 2006).
Hallowell (1996) uttered that satisfaction on its own cannot produce lifetime customers even though satisfaction can result in retention. Stauss et al. (2001) agreed with Hallowell by indicating that satisfaction is merely a step towards the goal of customer retention, and that retention effects increase with the degree of satisfaction. The measurements used in Hallowell's study were comprehensive; concluding that all the basics measured had an impact on overall satisfaction. However, the service features of branch, staff and information were established to be more significant.
Focusing on customer satisfaction, customer relationships and service quality result in profitability and high market share of any firm (Rust and Zahorik, 1993). Customer satisfaction and high quality service often outcome in more repeat purchases and improve firm market share (Buzzel and Gale, 1997). Customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty which eventually leads to profitability (Hallowell, 1996). Customer satisfaction and loyalty are highly correlated (Athanassopoulos et al., 2001; Hallowell, 1996; Silvestro and Cross, 2000), but form two distinct constructs (Bennett and Rundle-Thiele, 2004; Oliver, 1999). Service quality is accepted as one of the basics of customer satisfaction (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1994).
2-RETAILS BANKING AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Literatures of retails banking and customer satisfaction revealed that customer benefits of convenience and accessibility, which will encourage customer to do business with the banks (Anderson et al, 1976 and Laroche 1988). The bank's ability to address customer satisfaction and to deliver service quality on a continuing basis to its existing customers long-term relationship.
In explaining the concept of customer perspective toward retails banks services, the earlier research by Brownlie, (1989) has recommended that consumers have positive attitudes towards ATMs based on dominant perceptions of convenience, accessibility and ease of use. Furthermore, Leonard and Spencer (1991) explained that consumers perceive that ATMs are indicative of achievement and contribute towards a positive organizational image. Nevertheless, an amount of negative attitudes towards ATMs has been recognized. There is substantial study within the financial service literature that confirms the view that access and convenience is a dominant criterion both for subsequent satisfaction and for selection of institution (McKechnie, 1992; Thwaites and Vere, 1995).
Reichheld and Sasser (1990) have articulated the benefits driven from customer retention delivers to a bank. For instance, the longer a customer stays with a bank the more utility the customer generates. This is a result of a number of factors relating to the time the customer spends with a bank. These consists the higher initial costs of introducing and attracting a new customer, increases in both the value and amount of purchases, the customer's better understanding of the bank, and positive word-of-mouth promotion.
Furthermore Leeds (1992), has documented that 40 percent of clients may switch banks as result of what they measured to be poor service quality. Leeds also argued that nearly three-quarters of the banking customers mentioned teller courtesy as a key consideration in selecting a bank. The survey also showed that increased use of service quality may enhance customer satisfaction and thus reduced customer attrition.
Fornell (1992), in his study of Swedish consumers banks, observations that although customer satisfaction and quality become tangible to be important for all companies, satisfaction is more important for loyalty in industries such as, insurance, automobiles, mail order and retails banks. Cronin and Taylor (1992) have examined the reciprocity between satisfaction and quality through a number of service industries. A favorable image is viewed as a critical aspect of a firm's ability to maintain its market place, as image has been related to center aspects of organizational success such as customer patronage.
It is generally accepted that customer satisfaction often depends on the quality of service provided (Anderson and Sullivan, 1993). Overall consumer satisfaction thus reveals the general evaluation of the events carried out by a given business in relation to expectations accumulated behind different contact between the consumer and business (Bitner and Hubber, 1994). Customer satisfaction is an important theoretical as well as practical issue for most marketers and consumer researchers (Piercy, 1994).
Parasuraman et al (1994) in his study matched the point that service satisfaction and satisfaction with price was essentials in the overall satisfaction measurement. Later, Reidenbach (1995) argued that customer value is a more viable factor than customer satisfaction because it includes not only the normal benefits that most banks focus on but also a consideration of the price that the customer pays. Customer value is a dynamic process that should be managed. Customer satisfaction is merely a response to the value proposition offered in specific products/service (Reidenbach, 1995).
Bloemer (1998) has studied customer satisfaction; he found that image and perceived service quality determine loyalty in a retail bank. Banks lose satisfied clients who have moved, retired, or no longer need certain services. As a result, retaining customers becomes a top priority for retails banks. Earlier research shows, however, that longevity does not automatically leads to profitability but customer satisfaction (Colgate, Stewart, and Kinsella, 1996).
Literatures reveal that factors related to service offerings are in the same time related to customer satisfaction (Levesque and McDougall, 1996). Levesque and McDougall (1996) explained that convenience and competitiveness of the bank are the two main factors that are likely to affect overall customer satisfaction levels of a customer. Conversely, they comprehensively examine the effects of service quality, service features and customer complaint handling on customer satisfaction in the Canadian retail banks. The result of their study has proposed that satisfaction determinants in retail banking are driven by an amount of factors including service quality dimensions.
Reichheld (1996) uttered that unsatisfied customers may not leave the bank, because they do not expect to receive better service in a different place. Furthermore, satisfied customers may search for other providers because they believe they might receive better service in another place. Conversely, keeping customers is also dependent on a number of other factors.
Johnston (1997) explained the idea that banks in general were in effect `barking up the wrong tree' by focusing on service quality that had small or no effect on improving satisfaction. His study was one of the few examining customer satisfaction in the UK retail banking setting, which focused on quality issues. Johnston also stress that satisfaction or dissatisfaction with retail banking does not stem from the similar elements, but some elements of service quality if enhanced, improve customer satisfaction however, other elements may not develop satisfaction but merely act to keep dissatisfaction at bay or at best, reduced dissatisfaction alone.
Press and his colleagues (1997) noted that the overall satisfaction involve complaint management is very important. Efficiently handling problems, being attentive to concerns, and being capable to resolve troubles over the telephone emerged are vital to bank customer satisfaction.
Krishnan, Ramaswamy and Venkatram (1999) suggested that satisfaction with perceived services quality was suggested as a main driver of overall customer satisfaction. Likewise, research literature has considered trust as a factor with a great influence on the degree of satisfaction at the level of the relationship between services and consumers through distribution channels (Anderson and Narus, 1990). Besides this, the analysis of the role played by expectations in satisfaction evaluation leads to the deduction that there is a positive relationship between the confidence relational benefit and satisfaction (Szymanski and Henard, 2001).
Beckett et al. (2000) in his study explain the reason why consumers emerge to stay loyal to the similar financial provider, even though in many instances they hold less favorable views toward these service providers. For instance, many consumers emerge to perceive small differentiation between financial providers, making any change essentially worthless.
Armstrong and Seng (2000) explore the determinants of customer satisfaction in the banking industry, among many factors, transactional speed are the paramount important for customer satisfaction. Wong and Kanji (2001) discussed and experienced an extended customer satisfaction model in the retail-banking industry in Hong Kong. They built the extended model on the thought that evaluation of customer satisfaction in the retail banking industry is a function of overall customer expectation, perceived value and quality perception, whereas customer loyalty is a function of both perceived value and customer satisfaction.
Duborvski (2001) described a multi-phases model of consumer's buying decision and the task of customer satisfaction in achieving business excellence. He indicated that existing studies confirm important connection between satisfaction levels, on one side, and repeated buying, greater brand loyalty and spreading a positive view of the product, on the other side.
Kristensen, Juhl and Ostergaard (2001) calculated the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in Danish retailing business using the European Customer Satisfaction Index (ECSI). His model links customer satisfaction to its drivers (e.g., customer expectation, perceived company's image, perceived quality and perceived value) and, in turn, to its consequences, specifically customer loyalty. In the same year Othman and Owen (2001) explain that responsiveness, compliance, and assurance, were the dimensions that were most greatly connected with customer satisfaction in the Kuwaiti banking area.
Jamal and Naser (2002) explained that customer satisfaction is based not only on the decision of customers towards the reliability of the delivered service, but also on their experiences with the service delivery method. Hence, they report demographic differences (education and income levels) in the degree of customer satisfaction. Therefore, customer satisfaction with retail banking is composed of a wide variety of dimensions.
While Henning et al. (2002) explore a non-significant relationship between particular treatment and satisfaction, it is logical to expect that the benefit of particular treatment will have a huge influence on satisfaction within retail banking. This is due to the information that special treatment provided by a financial service provider can be perceived as a part of the overall service, so that this benefit will raise customer satisfaction.
In this study Al Zaabi (2002) found that customer satisfaction with bill payment of their services. His study sample consisted of individual customers and business customers. Zaabi recognized a set of eleven satisfaction attributes that were considered vital to Etisalat's customers with respect to service bill payment and related actions.
Additional, Ioanna (2002) has proposed that product differentiation is impossible in a competitive environment like the banking industry. Banks all over the place are delivering the identical products. Bank prices are fixed and driven by the marketplace. Therefore, bank management tends to distinguish its company from competitors through service quality. Ioanna altered that service quality is an imperative factor impacting customers' satisfaction level in the banking industry. He explained that, quality is a multi-variable idea that includes differing types of convenience, reliability, services portfolio, and critically, the staff delivering the service.
Deemas (2002) examine the satisfaction levels of a sample of customers. The primary part asked the respondents to provide universal background information (e.g., gender, age category, nationality and so on).The result of his study indicate that UAE nationals and Arabs are the most predominant in their contributions to overall satisfaction whereas non- Arabs are the lowest. In addition, the outcomes show no difference in the levels of customer satisfaction between men and women respondents.
Dove and Robinson's (2002) study indicated that banking customers have much superior satisfaction levels when they believe their troubles with the bank have been resolved.
Even though studies have associated demographic variables with customer satisfaction with services in general (Howcroft et al., 2002), only some studies have linked consumer evaluations of service recovery to gender, age, or tenure with the service. On the other hand, Lewis and Spyrakopoulos (2002) discovered that customers with stretched relationships are more demanding of the service recovery; this may also mean that it takes more to satisfy them.
Chien et al. (2003) have studied the attention on measuring customer satisfaction. They stressed on perceived quality and value, customer expectation and satisfaction and loyalty as main factors that influence customer satisfaction. Spathis and Constantinides (2003) also shore up the relationship between quality and customer satisfaction based on preliminary enterprise resource planning.
In his banking customers study, Boshoff and Staude (2003) found that satisfaction was impacted positively by communication, explanation, and atonement in that order while loyalty was just associated with communication and atonement through the service recovery. In their investigation, Stauss and Schoeler (2004) have established that effective service recovery is very profitable. Alternatively, not a success to ensure customer satisfaction throughout service recovery could result to a decline in lost customers, possible negative publicity, negative word-of-mouth, customer confidence, and the direct cost of re-performing the service.
Ho et al. (2005) similarly confirm that quality is the key factor and synonymous with the consumer's ability to select from a wide array of products and features that provide a closer match to person needs and desires. The introductions of quality standards into the Dutch firms enhanced competitive advantage plus customer and employee satisfaction (De Vries and De Jong 2002).
Later in his study, Chakrabarty (2006) explain that the driver of customer satisfaction for financial institutions may differ from the drivers identified for other services. He identified four factors that determined overall clients satisfaction retail banking customers in UK, which are; insider factors of the branch (e.g. staff helpfulness, speed of service, privacy, opening hours); economic satisfaction (e.g. overdraft interest, level of bank fees, rates); remote satisfaction (e.g. responsiveness and efficiency in dealing with remote enquiries); and ATM satisfaction (e.g. availability and reliability of ATM).
Customer satisfaction is the primary focus of the current study. To achieve the aforementioned objectives of this study, a total of 76 questionnaires were randomly distributed to customers of NBK over five main cities. Outcomes expected to reveals important finding of NBK bank management related to services quality and its customers associations. The researcher believes that with no full comprehending of customer satisfaction, it's with no avail to sustain retail banks growth and profit.
The main instrument to be used in this study in data collection and data processing is survey, which will be used as questioners to the selected sample through different data collection procedures. The survey was designed carefully to get the most accurate result. The questionnaire consisted of two sections. The first part of the questionnaire asked respondents to rate the relative their satisfaction of 25 potential factors, on their banks services, using a five-point Likert type importance scale ranging from "very important" to "not important at all". The Second part elicited sample's personal, demographic and economic characteristics information from the respondents that was deemed necessary to achieve the objectives of the study.
Most of these factors have been adapted from previous banking patronage studies; Anderson et al. (1976), Kaynak (1986), Laroche et al. (1986) and Erol and El Bdour (1989). Being bank, its give us an advantage to have different ways of collecting data and feedback from customers due to the various bank channels. In his attempts to enhance and develop the survey, the researcher has implemented the following three ways to improve the survey:
- Personal interviews: The researcher approached NBK customers personally through pre-set schedule either at the bank premises once the visit the bank branch or at customer premises. The interview done using pre-schedule telephone calls to get the customers feedback.
- Mail surveys: This method used when it was difficultly sometime to get an appointment with any customers either because they are outside Kuwait or too busy to schedule time for the survey.
- Bank management: using personal connection and relationship, the researcher managed to set with various level of NBK bank management in attempt to developed and enhance some factors that could be necessary for measuring customer's satisfaction toward service provided by NBK.
2-STUDY POPULATION AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE
From a total of 76 questionnaires distributed, 65 were returned, achieving 86.6% respondent rate. This relatively high response rate was attributed to the self-administered approach undertaken in distributing questionnaires and approaching respondents at the various branches. The following paragraphs explain how the sampling procedure has carried out through this study.
As NBK has a branch in almost every city in the state of Kuwait. The questioners of the current study was distributed in four main cities that NBK branch operate, these cities are Al Sura, Al farwaniah, Al Jabriah, and Kuwait city. The researcher selected these cities because they represented a competitive banking environment compared with other towns in the Kuwait related to NBK customers.
The sample of this study is the customers who visited the sampling locations during the chosen time intervals Respondents were randomly selected from NBK four locations. The 76 forms were distributed in equal numbers (19 forms for each NBK location), commencing at 9.00 am, 12 pm and 5 pm on a particular Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday using trained second person. Following the data collection procedures outlined by similar banking studies the questionnaires were distributed during various working hours of the same day (morning and evenings), as well as various days of the week, to reduce any potential bias owing to high concentration of bank customers during certain hours of the day, or certain days of the week or month. Two days, especially Sunday and Thursday, are known as peek-days in commercial banking sector. Therefore, these two days were not used for data collection so that high reliability of responses could be maintained.
Distribution took place in a week period in the early of January 2009. Customers were approached, explaining the nature of the study and asked if they would be prepared to fill in the questionnaire. Ten customers filled the form in there and then. Those offering to return the form at a later date were provided with an addressed and phone number card. The survey was designed to obtain information about the customer's satisfaction of NBK in Kuwait.
The researcher assisted by second person to handy the return forms. Orientation on how to administer the questionnaire was given to data collectors before collecting. During the data collection process, the data collectors first explained the respondents about the questions in the questionnaire and requested to provide with factual information. The questionnaire was prepared only in English language to enhance the reliability of the study.
The survey took approximately 16-18 minutes to complete. The eligibility criteria were to be a NBK customer and to reside in one of the selected city. It can also be stated that these four cities are truly representative of NBK customers. In Kuwait, customers had a wide range of banks and other non-bank financial institutions from which to select. As mentioned earlier, this study is concerned only with NBK customer.
3- SCALE VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY
Due to availability issue of the previous study in this field, the researcher tested the survey items to check the validity and reliability of the survey and its procedures. In order to make sure the used survey is valid, the questioners has sent to 10 respondents and then evaluate their responses. The respondents have selected randomly. The researcher aimed to split the 10 respondents into two groups and then measured the correlation between the two subsets of questioners.
For a better result the researcher measured statistic known as Cronbach's alpha that is based on the mean (absolute value) inter-item correlation for all possible variable pairs. It provides a conservative estimate of reliability, and generally represents the lower bound to the reliability of a scale of items. The result of pre-test reveals high validity and reliability (Cronbach's Alpha= 0.78) to use the current survey and measure customer satisfaction of NBK.
SPSS version 16 was implemented to analyze the valid responses. At the beginning, a comprehensive data file was created. Then, variables and their labels were defined. Using SPSS package software, analysis the data received from the customer the following steps will be used:
- Data Editing: the customer feedback will be reviewed and edited if needed
- Data Coding: all of the provided answer chooses will be converted to number to make the calculation easer.
- Data Entry: there will be two ways of data entry which are: normal data entry (keyboard manual entry) for the data capture using personal interview and data import for the data captured using electronic channel like internet banking & Telephone interview.
- Data Analysis: SPSS will be used to enter and process the capture data. The data will be converted later to summary and graphic format to make it more readable information for the bank decision maker.
Few statistical tools such as Mean, Standard Deviation were used for the analysis. Mean and standard deviation are measure of dispersion or variation (Fallik & Brown, 1983). Descriptive statistics were used to summarized and analyzed data. Descriptive statistics includes median, mean, frequencies, ranges, and percentages. Descriptive tables, Graphics and charts will be used to explore NBK customer's satisfaction toward the service provided.
A total of 76 questionnaires were distributed, only 65 useable questionnaires were returned, resulting in an 84 per cent response rate. The sample of 65 are NBK bank customers who visit one of the four locations in the time of the survey distribution.
One of the objectives of this study is to implement segmentation approach. AOVA test has implemented to analyze and compare between different segment and group. The current study has segment the response into two categories; Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti customers. In order to understand customer's satisfaction and dissatisfaction the following tables present satisfaction/dissatisfaction for Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti group.
This chapter discusses in detail the results of the finding of this study. The chapter explores the degree of retail banking satisfaction and explains the differences between Kuwaiti and non- Kuwaiti group toward their satisfaction level.
In studying the differences between Kuwait and Non-Kuwaiti customer to this factor, The ANOVA test show slightly differences between Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti customer in their degree of satisfaction toward NBK services. From 25 factors, only 6 factors scored differences in means of satisfaction level of Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti customers. These factors are: The convenient of NBK location, availability of loans, services prices, interest rate on saving account, interest rate on loans and NBK monetary transactions. Thus NBK management should deal considered these differences as to improve the two segmentations of their customers.
Understanding the overall satisfaction is not enough to improve bank customers segmentation, thus Banks should categorized and considered every segment of their customers. Addressing segmentation satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors are the second step. In order to compete in the local competitive market, NBK should focus in addresses the satisfaction levels of every segment and comprehend and meet their requirement.
The current chapter explores in details all the factors measured in this study (25 factors). Descriptive analysis and ANOVA test are the main techniques incorporated in this study. In each factors the researcher focus on the overall satisfaction and the result of ANOVA test scored to understand if there are any differences between the two specified group that the study has focus on (Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti customers).
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
This chapter summaries the main finding and recommendation for further studies. In the present competitive environment, NBK need to retain existing high-value customers to remain competitive. The research results proved that there is some factors influence customer of NBK in which they are no very satisfied. Thus Marketing manager of NBK should seek to improve the area where customer is not satisfied to improve customer retention and their overall satisfaction.
The research findings clearly suggest that the drive towards ease of banking and convenience is favored by the Non-Kuwaiti customer and, therefore, banks should find alternative strategic routes designed to improve service delivery (either human-based or technology-based). The study found that confidence in NBK management and NBK image and reputation scored high satisfaction which reveals high loyalty of satisfaction.
NBK should take customer care and customer retention programms into consideration that will increased "push" towards the provision of convenient, easy and fast banking services. This programms is closely associated with the human and technology based delivery processes. More importantly, they are greatly linked with the customers' perceptions of how NBK services are delivered to them. NBK customers perceptual may, in turn, affect the level of their satisfaction ratings, retention and switching rates.
The study found that financial aspects and factors are the most important issues that NBK should considered in order to improve their overall customer's satisfaction. Availability of loans, Services prices, Interest rate on loans and Ease of obtaining loans are the main focus of NBK customers in Kuwait.
The result of this research suggests that in general customers of NBK (Kuwaiti and Kuwaiti) are satisfied with services provided by retail banks. The ANOVA test show slightly differences between Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti customer in their degree of satisfaction. Kuwaiti customers are mostly satisfied with: Confidence in NBK management, The quality of services provided by NBK, Availability of ATM in several locations, NBK image and reputation, and Safety of funds. while Non-Kuwaiti customers are satisfied with Confidence in NBK management, The quality service of E-banking provided by NBK, Easy to use ATM, NBK image and reputation, and The quality of services provided by NBK.
The lest factor that Kuwait customers are satisfied with are: Interest rate on loans, Availability of loans, Ease of obtaining loans (the acceptability of loans terms), Efficacy Handing Problems, and Services prices. While Non-Kuwait lest satisfied with; Services prices, the convenient of NBK location, Efficacy Handing Problems, Interest rate on saving account and Phone account access.
1- RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE STUDY
NBK Bank may consider different demographic factors to addresses (e.g. Male and female), or different statistical techniques to analyses and compeered their customers satisfaction (e.g. cluster analysis). I believe that NBK should seek to analyses their customer satisfaction from time to time in order to improve their satisfaction and better understand what factors may lead to their dissatisfaction.