THE IMPACT OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETING AS A TOOL FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTI…
This research work review extensively the meaning of Relationship Marketing and its role as a tool for customer satisfaction and profitability by using Intercontinental Bank Plc Aba, as a case study. This study was carried out to reveal the extent at which the relationship marketing can help the bank satisfy their customers and to maximize profit. It tries to research out the need for the application of relationship marketing in solving some problems in banking sector and also recommendations where necessary. The major purpose for this study is to find out the effective impact of relationship marketing in achieving customer satisfaction and profitability. This has been achieved through an effective and efficient research design, proper data collection method an analysis use in this work and various findings and recommendations.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Relationship marketing is one of the aspects of newly developed philosophy in marketing, which is Holistic marketing. It holds the fact that “everything matters with marketing and that a broad, integrated perspective is often necessary, Increasing a key goal of marketing is to develop deep, enduring relationship with all people or organization that could directly attract the success of the firms marketing activities. Relationship marketing has the aim of building mutually satisfying long Item relationship with key parties, customers, suppliers, distributors and other marketing partners in order to earn and retain their business. It builds strong economic, technical and social ties among the partners.
However, relationship marketing is a term which is generally agreed, first appeared in the management literature in 1980s, it describes, however, a concept that is as old as commerce itself and that tends to often practices albeit unknowingly, within small to medium sized business. The concept of relationship marketing illustrated with the example of a small shopkeeper, who would know most customers by name, through regular contact. He or she would therefore talk to customers frequently, know about their likes and dislikes, and aware of special requirements particular customers may have such as for cream on Friday, for example. This direct knowledge enables shopkeeper to order stock, plan services and value on the basis of know customers requirements.
Moreover, customers are important they have the ultimate choice when it comes to buying products and services and their requirements must be satisfied. Customers are “Kings”, they determine the existence of the marketers. When this is forgotten, one will lose his or her customers base. Customers needs are prime importance both to themselves and to the prospective suppliers if they have a training problem they will seek help from the providers of the financial services concerned. They will look for a speedy and effective response. If they do not get the kind quality and services, they are entitled to, they will vote with their feet and will not return and do not expect any recommendations. But when customers receive a courteous, efficient and effective financial service, they come back for more and recommend your products and services to contact.
In the financial sector especially banks, the concept of customers relations arises from indirect financing with intermediaries accumulating surplus funds from surplus spending units and intending to lend them out to deficit spending units. This legally creates “banker customer relations” as that of a debtor and creator.
In essence, relationship marketing involves knowing about your customers, encouraging two-way communication with them, and seeking to create a mutually beneficial relationship with them where appropriate. The aim of relationship marketing is to convert am individual or organization with initial interest purchasing goods and services into a loyal customers and the focus is as much on relating existing customers as on bringing in new ones.
However, when customers are satisfied, they become unpaid agents and in return there will be profit maximization. Relationship marketing includes all marketing and efforts deigned by the banks to satisfy the needs of the customers profitable. That is why the slogan of intercontinental Bank is “Happy Customer, Happy Bank”.
1.1.1 PROFILE OF THE STUDY
Intercontinental Bank Plc came into existence in March 1989 as a product of the Partnership between some Visionary and dynamic Nigerian businessmen, to provide innovative and customer focused products and services that will satisfy the publics growing need for sophisticated banking services. Since its inception then as Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant bank Limited, the bank has been providing a wide array of products and services covering investments banking, retail and funds management.
The bank is managed by a dynamic , versatile and result-oriented team and easily won national acclaim by emerging as the most profitable merchant bank just five years after it takes off. Over the year, the bank has grown to symbolize innovation, services excellence and professionalism, with a diversities group structure spanning the various areas of financial service business. The subsidiaries and associate are today made up of vibrant commercial bank, equity Bank of Nigeria Limited, a flourishing insurance company, WAPIC Insurance Plc, Intercontinental Capital market Limited (ICML) and two associated companies, Intercontinental Securities Limited and Associated Discount House Limited (ADHL). The discount House has brought into gateway bank Plc in which its own controlling Interest, while equity Bank has the following subsidiaries, CBN Securities, CBN Finance Limited.
Intercontinental Bank has made substantial investment in information technology with all its branches effective linked with one another and to the Head office through the very small aperture Terminal (VSAT), which enhances on line real time capabilities. This has made banking easily for the banks teeming customers across the country.
In July, 1999, the bank converted to a commercial Bank and later obtained a universal banking license to avail many more customers of its unique products and services as well as top into their market opportunities in the Nigerian Economy. Following a resolution of the Board in October 2001, the Bank Changed to a public Limited Liability company in June 2002 and following it up in July the same year with an initial public offering (IPO). The capitalization of the Bank was further boosted with N3.58 billion being proceeds of the IPO and by mid 2004 the banks shareholders funds had grown to N10 billion before the new minimum capital bases of N25 billion was set by the regulators.
Consequently, the bank returned to the capital market and raised new funds totally N22.4 billion thereby growing its shareholders fund to N34.7 Billion. The banks shares are listed on the Nigeria on stock .exchange (NSE), Since its debet in the commercial banking field, Intercontinental Bank Plc has purchased an aggressive branch network expansion programmes, As at March 2005. The bank has 63 branches making it sixth largest bank in the country in terms of network. In 2006 they executed another public offer that grossed about N100 billion with subscription level hiking an unprecedented 774%.
In 2007, a consortium of five foreign financial institutions invested & 161 million in the bank. This shared up the shareholder fund to $1.3 billion, making if the first Nigerian bank to cross the $1 billion capitalization threshold. They have about 250 branches spread all over the country, from 2008 to 2009, they become the number one bank in Nigeria, the first in E-banking and the second best bank in customers services. They have 8027 staff strength and they have 20 members pf board of directors, which is chairman by Dr. Raymond. C. Obieri (OON)
However, their Vision is to be the number one financial institution in Nigeria and among the top 100 in the world. And their mission is to help their stakeholders build and pressure wealth. Intercontinental Bank Plc offers a full range of consumer products covering a wide spectrum of the market. these include the Intercontinental Diamond Fund. (IDF). Intercontinental Valuable yield Account (IVY) Intercontinental Premium savings Account (IPSA). The Intercontinental classic current Account (I.CLASS) Domiciliary Account management (DAM), Intercontinental: Domicilary Extra Account(DAM) intercontinental LEASING Account (I-Lease) intercontinental Personal Loan (1-Pearl), Intercontinental Bank Value card, and Travelers Cheques (TC). Their service Include the following:
Retail, Banking, Treasury and Financial services, foreign trade activities, SMS banking, Telephone banking Internet banking, investment banking, commercial banking and Electronic Banking. The bank is a direct agent for Western Union Money Transfer and a partner of Master Card. A socially responsible organization. Intercontinental Bank Maintains a long standing policy of cooperate responsibility to the communities. In which it operates and has made impact in the areas of public health and education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study emphasis on the issue of customers satisfaction an profitability from the conceptual framework of the relationship marketing. However, the major problems we have is to know. To what extent the intercontinental bank Plc, is operating in relation with the relationship marketing. Moreover, how has the Intercontinental bank plc Aba been coordinating and managing their customers. To what extent has relationship marketing contributed to the organizational profitability?
Furthermore, how and to what extent have they gained Innovation through the application of relationship marketing? And to what extent have they achieved their organizational objective through relationship marketing.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Having raised the issues involved in the statement of the problem. The objective of this study therefore is as follows:
i. To determine if relationship marketing has any thing to do with customers satisfaction.
ii. To ascertain if relationships market contributes to profit actualization.
iii. To Identity if they achieved their set goals through relationship marketing.
iv. To evaluate the operationlization of relationship marketing in achieving organizational profitability.
v. To examine the factors military against the application of relationship marketing.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
However, from the objectives of the study. The following pertinent researcher questions are formulated.
1. Has relationship marketing anything to do with customer satisfaction.
2. Does relationship marketing contributes to profit actualization?
3. Does the organization achieve their set goal through relationship marketing?
4. Does the operationalization of the relationship, marketing ensure organizational profitability.
5. Are there factors affecting the application of relationship marketing?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis as formed for testing based on the research problem and objectives of the study.
Ho: The relationship marketing has nothing to do with customer satisfaction.
HA: The relationship marketing has something to do with customer satisfaction.
Ho: The operationalization of relationship marketing do not ensure organization profitability.
HA: The operationalization of relationship marketing ensures organizational profitability.
Ho: Relationship marketing does not contribute to profit actualization.
HA: Relationship marketing contributes to profit actualization.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Nevertheless, this study is basically and significant to the contemporary services organization and marketing business operating environment, for all kind of reason including the following.
i. It will enhance the management of the customer value
ii. It will help in understanding of who is a customer and how to satisfy them.
iii. It will enable the company to focus on its objectives through the help of relationship marketing
iv. The research study will form the basis of further researcher for the incoming students of marketing.
v. This study is also a prerequisite to partial fulfillment of the award of Higher National Diploma.
vi. It will guide the government in formulating polices on environmentalism and consumerism.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In order to achieve a precised study, this work will concern itself with investigating the relationship between the relationship marketing and customer satisfaction and profitability in the Intercontinental Bank Plc Aba, during this periods of unstable economy, in Nigeria. This work limits itself to the study of Intercontinental Bank Plc Aba Branches. The work will deliberately select a population in Aba City. Thus within the areas that are covered by the intercontinental bank Plc Aba.
1.8 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
In this study section, some important term used will be defined in order to achieve a synchronized understanding of this work.
Marketing: According to kalu F.O (2002), Marketing is d defined as the process in which companies, deliver solutions to customers needs and desires in relation for payment.
MARKETING CONCEPT: this has to do with the identification of customers need and wants and satisfying them more profitable than competitors.
RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: According to Kotler (1999:497) is the process of creating, maintaining and enhancing strong, value, laden relationships with customer and stakeholders.
CUSTOMER: This can be perceived as a person or company that buys goods regularly. Marketing Dictionary.
SATISFACTION: This is a function of perceived performance and expectation.
IMPACT: This is the powerful effect that practice of relationship marketing has on the customer’s satisfaction and profitability.