The Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited (GCBL) has conducted the first audit on its four-year-old Customer Service Charter and Managing Director, Richard Duncan said the results are very encouraging.
The charter was launched in May 2011 to help the bank provide a superior service to its customers and to maintain that high standard.
The accounting firm, Pannel Kerr Forster (PKF), conducted the audit in 2014 and last week Monday officials of Co-op bank released the findings in which five hundred and seventy eight persons were polled in the survey.
Duncan, a former Director of Budget in the local Ministry of Finance, explained the method used to collect the data.
“The accounting firm would have chosen what they call a representative sample of the bank’s customer base to conduct the survey and these representative samples are chosen on a scientific basis”, he said.
“…The method (used) was direct question to the persons in the sample, some were also contacted electronically by email and they have also reported that the feedback through that means was also quite good,” he added.
According to Duncan, the majority of persons were surveyed through direct contact made with customers in the Banking Hall and in some instances through the ATM site locations.
This, he said was very important since the bank felt “we would not be able to get a good gauge on how people view the ATM service if you only speak to people that you meet in the Banking hall.”
The Co-op Bank boss stated that he was generally pleased with the results of the survey as conducted.
“I would back that up on the basis that we have been doing our quarterly perception survey that is internal, where we poll our customers, we analyse the results and we gain customer satisfaction. What the audit does is to say independent of us, these are our findings and I think the biggest one that is consistent with what we have been getting from our customers is the level of satisfaction,” he remarked.
The satisfaction rate, according to Duncan was scored in the 90’s.
“In this audit it was yes or no, are you satisfied… 69% say they are satisfied. However, in our survey there are what you call degrees of satisfaction and when we measure those who are very satisfied and those who are just satisfied, we are in the high 90s, so we are quite pleased with that”, he said.
“…We know that in some areas we are still not at cruising altitude and one of them is the length of time that people spend in the bank to get service and the length of time that they take once they reach at the Customer Service rep to get transaction done and that was flagged as an area where there is work to be done,” he added.
Duncan stated that the results are better than expected from the independent audit that was done and in some instances were very consistent with what the bank has been getting in its own polling over the last 8 years.
Although, there are weaknesses, he said they are not worried because they are not surprised at the findings.
“I think what the report does …in my opinion is (that) it fortifies us, that what one individual is hating and is quarreling about is now aggregated and shared by others. So there is no way I believe that the staff of this bank would want to come in a year or two and hang their head in shame to say to the customers you have spoken and we have not listened, we have done nothing,” he remarked.
Duncan disclosed that it is the intention of the bank to have an audit done annually to ensure that they are meeting customers’ needs.
“We will continue to strive to meet the 70% mark. In terms of overall satisfaction, we would like to go beyond 70 but the benchmark remains at 70 on all dimensions of the promises that we have made. This is so because given the difficulties in making sure that we get everything working, there is no point in raising the bar higher when you have not reached it in all dimensions of the promises,” he said.
The results of the audit are as follows: Overall Customer Experience 69%, Telephone Experience 60%, Banking Facilities 88%, Staff Attributes 90%, Account Opening Procedures 81%, Loan Processing 52%, Electronic Banking Services 60% and Complaints Handling 63%.