BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Nigerian banking industry, which acts as a conduit between the surplus and deficit sectors of the economy, drives the country’s development and progress. Soludo (2004) recommends banking sector reform with the sole goal of propelling the economy forward and repositioning the banking system as a sound and reliable driver of development capable of competing well with its worldwide counterparts.
Congestion and long lines were the norm at Nigerian banks before to the 2005 banking reforms, making the banking hall uncomfortable, dirty, and choking due to the ineffectiveness of the air conditioners. The line usually extends outside the banking hall. The majority of banks have recognized the negative consequences and are working to mitigate them by introducing products and services that minimize the number of people entering banks, extending banking halls, and building new branches across the country. Prior to consolidation, certain banks’ parking spaces contributed to the congestion. Some bank facilities were more or less cubicles or cash centers, with consumers unable to park their cars or motorcycles and walk in to conduct business, but recapitalized banks have made significant improvements to guarantee that existing and prospective customers have access to parking.
The term “service innovation” refers to something that is put into action. Customers’ perceptions of the company and the service are frequently influenced by the level of satisfaction they receive from it (Schumpeter, 1947). Banking has undergone significant transformations in recent years in order to remain competitive. The evolution of information technology and the widespread use of computers has altered the nature of clerical work. Hand-posting ledger accounts and customer statements is virtually a thing of the past. The rapid speed of change is expected to continue (Patel, 2004).
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Customers who are loyal to a company are extremely valuable (Kaganzi, 2003; Agwu et.al, 2008; Hall, 2005; Lundvall, 1992). As a result, achieving and retaining customer loyalty should be a top priority for firms. Banks should continue to develop products and services that fulfill the needs of its consumers in order to keep them as customers.
Due to market liberalization, meeting the ever-changing wants of customers has become a major challenge for most businesses. As a result, businesses are seeking for new ways to meet client expectations in order to retain customers and preserve a competitive advantage. In the 1900s, the business environment in which Kenyan enterprises operate grew tumultuous as a result of unfamiliar changes that put a strain on the organization (Mulaa, 2004).
The rapid execution of economic reforms, the liberalization of the economy, the removal of price controls, the privatization and commercialization of the public sector, and enhanced competition are only a few of the developments. Organizations have constantly modified their activities and internal configuration to match the new external realities in this changing environment. Failure to do so may jeopardize the organization’s future prosperity (Murage, 2001).
Nigerian banks appear to be grappling with the demand for higher-quality services, competitiveness, cost-cutting, and flexibility. Since the deregulation of the sector in recent years, the Nigerian banking industry has seen incredible development in terms of branch count, total assets, deposit base, and volume of loans and advances.
In a new delivery channel application with platforms aimed at addressing issues in the traditional banking system. Only sixteen commercial banks in Nigeria are now compliant with the central bank’s directives. As a result, excluding the micro financing banks, these sixteen branches are operating in Asaba, Delta State.
While dealing with these needs, banks appear to be dealing with tremendous technological advancements, a changing population workforce, new skill requirements, enhanced collaboration capabilities, and new lines of communication. As a result, many banks have had to undergo significant restructuring.
The banking industry has already begun to implement new business practices. They appear to have found new ways of delivering services. In truth, there are important lessons to be gained from their experiences.
Banks created and embraced electronic service delivery channels for efficient delivery of their varied services, riding on the back of ever-evolving technical breakthroughs to address these service difficulties. Alternative service delivery, according to Mwangi (2007), is changing the way businesses operate. It appears to open up a slew of new options for dealing with service delivery challenges. Business companies, particularly banks, appear to be discovering the benefits of focusing their businesses on what they do best while allowing others to do what they do best by using electronic service delivery channels. Organizations may be able to fulfill their goals of company renewal and offering effective and efficient services by using electronic service delivery channels. Alternative service delivery, according to Ovum Analyst Findings (2013), could also be a way of continuing to provide some services or products that have traditionally been delivered by other firms through or in conjunction with organizations outside the organization. These products or services can be made available to the general public or internal users. The banking industry in Nigeria has progressed past the days of armchair banking, when customers had to seek out a banker to conduct business. The age of fierce competition among banks has arrived. The study is being conducted against this backdrop in order to assess the impact of banking reforms on service delivery following the reform exercise, using variables such as customer deposits, profitability, productivity, and viability of service, time taken to open accounts, speed of withdrawing and depositing money, quality and quantity of products as indicators of services measured, and so on. As a result, the focus of this research is on the impact of innovation on customer satisfaction in the Nigerian banking sector.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
All Kenyan banks have recognized that their market environment, as well as their customers’ demands, interests, and preferences, is rapidly changing. One of the few criteria that distinguishes banks from the competitors is the level of service they provide (Gavigan et. al, 2001). Customers will be dissatisfied if the service provided does not provide them with the utmost benefit. In the banking industry and other sectors of the economy, the client is recognized as the most important aspect. According to Lall (2001), successful firms are focused with service quality. This has become an extremely crucial aspect in the customer’s purchasing decision. A company’s strategy can be defined as its overarching plan or program for achieving its objectives, among other things.
Innovation has been linked to dynamic changes in customer needs and has been cited as one of the most important components in a company’s success since it entails the transformation of an idea into a product or service (Georgehiou et. al, 2006).
A service can’t be seen, felt, tasted, or smelled, and it can’t be owned. Only after a service has been purchased and consumed can intangible process features such as reliability, personal care, personnel attentiveness, and friendliness be validated. People do not always act consistently, resulting in differences amongst services within the same organization (Dattakumar et. al, 2003). Standardization and training can help organizations reduce their inconsistencies (Kemmis et.al, 1988). Service innovation, according to Schumpeter (2002), is a service product or service process that is based on some technology or systematic technique and put into practice to benefit the developer. New customer interface solutions, new distribution methods, technology application in the service process, new supply chain operations, and new ways to organize and manage services are all examples of service innovations. The attitude of bank employees toward customers is also an important indicator of service quality. The fact remains that no bank can expect to meet global service delivery standards unless it invests in its human capital and elevates its capable employees to key positions. Prior to the reforms, most banks lacked enough staffing, and employees were frequently overworked, with duties that should have been filled by three or more people. When the same worker is called upon to attend to a customer while giving a service on a different product to a different customer, this becomes painfully clear. The shortage of experienced personnel was closely tied to the inadequate staff problem, since most banks favored cheap labor in the name of efficiency.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The overall goal of this research is to look into the impact of innovation on customer satisfaction in the Nigerian banking sector. The following are some of the specific goals:
1. To better understand how employees in the banking industry see the importance of innovation.
2. Determine the approach taken by banking sectors in addressing client needs.
3. To investigate the numerous new concepts developed by banking sectors in order to satisfy customers.
4. To find out how innovation affects client retention in the banking industry.