[Kenya] Over 80% of bank customers satisfied with industry service standards, technology, KBA report
According to this year's edition of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Customer Service Satisfaction Survey, bank clients rated their satisfaction level at 83 percent based on banks' responsiveness and service quality.
In the survey that analyses feedback from more than 11,000 respondents, twenty percent of bank customers highlight their overall experience as "Good" with five percent describing their experience as "Fair" and one percent noting that the services they received in 2019 were "Unsatisfactory".
Out of the respondents surveyed, 32 percent indicate their digital experience was "Exceptional" with 42 percent scoring banks' digital services as "Very Good". Citing mobile banking (34 percent) and the efficiency of digital platforms (19 percent), 20 percent of respondents said their experience was 'Good' as 4.9 percent underlined their experience as "Fair" and "Unsatisfactory" (0.9 percent).
The findings further indicate that the use of mobile banking rose to 57 percent in 2019 from 49 percent recorded in 2018. The spike was also experienced in the utilization of Internet banking channels, whose preference doubled from 16 percent in 2018 to 34 percent the following year. Despite the growing overall preference for digital channels as transaction platforms, more than half of bank customers would rather call a customer service agent while filing complaints or making enquiries.
'The high preference of mobile banking in part could be due to the high mobile phone penetration which has reached almost near-saturation levels compared to Internet adoption. Overall, this shows that customers are warming up to digital channels. These transformations have been enabled by banks' continued investment in lower-cost digital capabilities which have consequently boosted customers' adoption given their simplicity and convenience,' the survey reports.
The findings come at a time when banks are rolling out innovations such as Chatbots based on Artificial Intelligence in keeping with the needs and expectations of customers. The innovations have also been motivated by the desire to bolster operational efficiency through automation.
While customers' preference for digital channels is on the rise, the survey indicates that branches are still an important channel for customer engagement as 22 percent still prefer to visit the branch, highlighting the need for banks to consider branch networks not only as a footprint for transactional purposes but to also as interaction hubs.
During a forum convened to release the findings of the Customer Satisfaction Survey, KBA Research and Policy Director Mr. Jared Osoro commended the banking industry for sustaining excellence in customer service, urging banks to continue implementing frameworks to better customer experience and service delivery across banking channels.
'From the survey's findings, there is a clear indication that technology remains an important driver of customer satisfaction and promoting customers' seamless interaction with banks' transaction channels. Therefore, it is imperative for the industry to continue developing innovative solutions to enhance customer experience and service delivery,' he said.
Mr. Osoro added that the survey is among the initiatives spearheaded by KBA to support the aspirations of the banking industry's Strategic Plan for the period 2019 to 2023. The Plan seeks to catalyze more innovation, enhancing operational efficiency and effective service delivery across banking channels. It also aspires to reduce the cost of credit to facilitate more citizens to access formal credit to deepen financial inclusion in the economy.
Standard Chartered Bank was recognized as the top overall bank in customer satisfaction, followed by Equity Bank in the second overall position and Diamond Trust Bank coming in third position. The top overall banks retained their positions respectively in the Tier I category.
In the raking that recognized banks' efforts to promote customers' digital experience, National Bank of Kenya took first place in the Tier II category followed by Bank of Africa and Family Bank in the third position. Credit Bank emerged tops in the Tier III category while Sidian Bank and ABC Bank scooped the second and third positions respectively.