granted banking license to Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank in 2003.
Given the intense competition in the sector, private banks have focused on making the customer experience as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
“Customer service has been an integral component of ICICI’s strategy. The bank has followed a multi-pronged approach of expanding the branch and ATM network to provide easily accessible services and has enabled its technology platforms to make banking effortless and convenient. To match customers’ evolving behavior, we have also redesigned processes to ensure seamless delivery of services,” said K Ramkumar, executive director, ICICI.
“We have enhanced our base of relationship managers, invested significantly in training of employees, empowered the branch staff and developed a structured process of grievance redressal,” he said.
Just like in the Airlines and Telecom sectors, the opening up of the banking sector to private players has proven beneficial to customers as it has led to an overall improvement in the services and products offered, and made rates competitive.
“Entry of private banks has augured well for the customers. Earlier, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, one had to struggle a lot to get one’s transaction done. Opening an account or sending money to other accounts was a time consuming process,” said Rajat Arora, who works for an insurance company in New Delhi.
“After the entry of private banks, competition toughened and public sector banks have also become aggressive in attracting customers. Now banks are coming to the customers, unlike the earlier days, when a customer had to go to the banks,” he said.
Customers scored these private sector banks in various categories such as satisfaction with bank facilities, staff behavior and turn-around time. The banks offering better facilities, treating customers properly and responding swiftly got higher scores.
For some customers though, the good old sarkari banks will do. “In private banks, the relationship between the customer and the staff is more formal. Whereas in public sector banks, especially where you hold an account for a long time, both customer and staff become somewhat like family members,” said Colonel TR Chowdhury, a customer.
(With inputs from Kolkata)