Banks thrive on customers and one of the major factors that differentiate them is the ability to attract and mobilize large number of customers for their operations. For continuous increase in the number of customers there must be a robust strategic plan in place. The planning template discussed below is meant to set comprehensive planning parameters and identify the essential data to be collected and analysed for the plan:
Demographic data collection
- The occupation of the people in the target market or community.
- The average income levels of the members of the community
- Average level of education.
- Average family size.
- Average family income.
- Social class, age, sex and marital status.
- Market community and the population density.
- Urban or Rural Community’s summary report.
- Seasonality of the people’s products e.g. textile season, crop season
- Transportation pattern in the community– mass transit, traffic intensity, traffic congestions or easy mobility.
The social issues that affect the people in the area on routine basis are very important because the community will host the marketing team or the bank’s branch. These issues should include:
- Personal characteristics and lifestyles of a typical man or woman in the area.
- Consumption and saving habits of the people. The Japanese are reputed to save at least 50% of their monthly income.
- Values that the people cherish – honesty, respect, care and others
People’s Behavior and Needs
In order to meet the needs of the target customers, their behavior in the following areas must be established:
- Actions that can attract their Loyalty.
- Sensitivity to price changes.
- Sensitivity to convenience and quality.
- Sensitivity to personal or electronic service.
Dr Vincent Pearle stated that “if you can find the needs of customers and fill the needs you will be successful”. In banking, any segment of the customers may have the following needs:
- Loans, advances and leases.
- Savings and current accounts.
- Trust services – keeping valuable items.
- Investment and private banking services.
- Safe funds transfer, ATM or LTM Services
The needs should be identified, recorded and ranked while the services are customized to meet them. Most banks in Nigeria simply talk about customers’ needs without concrete efforts to meet such needs. We all know that “talk is cheap”. We must “walk the talk”.