Perceptions of service quality by clients and contact-personnel in the South African retail banking sector
A superior level of service quality is an important objective for South African retail banks. This paper investigates the levels of perceived service quality among 550 clients and 559 branch contactpersonnel in retail banks in central South Africa. The perceptions are compared, and the findings reveal that clients regard the levels of service they receive to be better than what the contact-personnel perceive them to be experiencing. The physical branch environment was also shown to be an important dimension of perceived service quality among retail clients. A cluster analysis identified three market segments to use when adopting marketing strategies, and the demographic factors of age, race and geographical location were found to be important considerations when developing these marketing strategies. An explicit micro-market marketing approach that is flexible and tailor-made to the characteristics of the location of the branch is a recommendation of the paper.
Key words: service quality, central South Africa, retail banks