Service quality practices among commercial banks in Kenya
In every modern organization, service quality is a cornerstone upon which the very survival of the organization relies on. The market for quality services has become very competitive. It is no longer advantageous to have or provide quality service to customers but has now become necessity. Banks have not been left behind in this development. Commercial banks in Kenya have been given an increasingly great task to meet customer changing needs while remaining profitable at the same time. Banks have carried out various service quality measurement techniques so as to gauge themselves on their performance. This measurement is important so as to get an idea of what they have done so far and what needs to be done to remain competitive. This study looked at the common service quality practices among the commercial banks in Kenya. It looked at the extent to which service quality measurement is undertaken by Kenyan banks. It also looked at what techniques are used in this measurement. Lastly it identified challenges faced in service quality measurement. The study was undertaken by carrying out a census of all the commercial banks in Kenya. The research instrument used was a questionnaire that was distributed by drop-and–pick-later method. The study concluded that banks have done extensive work in conducting service quality measurement. Banks use various models or tools to measure this service quality. The most common models used are the SERVQUAL and SERVPERF models. Banks have put more emphasis on measuring service quality of front office departments where there is more direct contact with customers. Bank staff, however do not seem to appreciate service quality measurement and therefore do not support it. Banks have been advised to put more emphasis on using service quality tools on the operations of back office or support departments. Banks have also been encouraged to use appropriate tools that will allow for comparison between themselves and their competitors.