The influence of agency banking as a strategy on customer service in Equity Bank Limited in Kenya
Githaiga , Margaret W
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The purpose of this study was to establish the influence of Agency Banking as a Strategy on Customer Service at Equity Bank Limited in Kenya. Agency banking is an innovation that has developed recently in the banking industry due to the continuous innovations in the business world. In Kenya a few organizations have been able to adopt the strategy and Equity Bank was among the pioneers in implementing agency banking in its operations with the aim of creating financial inclusiveness. Every organizations has a responsibility of ensuring that the needs of the customers are met in the best way possible and that customer service is enhanced; Equity banking is not an exception in this. The study had two objectives; to determine the services devolved to Equity Bank agents and to establish the influence of agency banking as a strategy on customer service at Equity bank limited. The research sought to identify the functions and roles of agents at equity bank and their ability to provide excellent customer service which is very crucial in the current business world. The study adopted a case study research design and data was successfully collected from a total of 51 out of the selected 53 respondents through an interview guide and summative analysis was used to come up with the results. The study revealed that equity agents are mostly allowed to handle cash deposit and withdrawal services as well as handling some customer complaints related to transactions handled by them. The agents are not allowed to handle some operations that may lead to breach of customer confidentiality and trust or that go beyond the stipulated policies by the bank. There are also guidelines in regard to selection of the potential agents in order to safe guard the bank and the customers in terms of the image, the level of customer services given and the risks involved both from internal and from the external environment. Customers, agents and the bank alike agreed that agency banking has made significant changes on customer service since it provides efficient, effective and personalized services and their expectations are met to a high level. The researcher found the study significant in the development of organizations and creating good relations with the customers who are the most important asset of the organization. Its exclusion from operation may therefore hurt the bank in its efforts to enhance customer service and in its efforts to position it's self in the competitive market where the customers anticipate receiving absolute satisfaction in services given. most of them fully understand what among their expectations should be reached. Agency banking in Equity Bank Limited was found to be a successful venture that has raised the bank to high extent in providing enhanced customer service to its customers and with some a few improvements in future the strategy will continue to grow the bank to higher levels. The researcher found the research to be very beneficial in the banking sector as well as in organizations where the customer is superior and therefore requires to be valued by providing strategies that align with making their needs be met and in the most satisfying and convenient manner.