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Customer Service Excellence: Evaluation of Santander

Essay by   •  December 18, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,433 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,658 Views

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Contents page no:

Executive summary------------------------------------------------------------- 3

Introduction------------------------------------------------------------------------ 3

Findings----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3

Customer service definition ------------------------------------------------- 3

Customer expectations-------------------------------------------------------- 4

Servqual model therory-------------------------------------------------------- 5

What customers want----------------------------------------------------------- 6

Retaining customers------------------------------------------------------------ 8

Conclusion------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8

Recommendations--------------------------------------------------------------- 8

Bibliography/ Reference list-------------------------------------------------- 9

Appendix---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10

Executive summary

This report is written by a Marketing & Customer Services Executive working for the new established Santander Group. This report evaluates customer expectations and looks at different strategies which could be applied to Santander achieving world class customer satisfaction. This report highlights the customer service problems which Santander, have recently been facing and gives solutions in resolving some of these issues.


Santander is one of the four biggest capitalised banks which offer facilities for personal, business and corporate banking. The company uses several customer service channels such as email, web, telephone, online banking and in branch banking. Recently the bank has come under heavy criticism for its poor customer service.


Customer Service

According to Scott 2002 "customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction that is the feeling that a product or service has met the customer's expectation" (Harris 2008)

Definition of customer service stated by Walker (2010) suggests that in today's business environment, it is not enough to believe customer service is 'just meeting the requirements of the customer'.

Walker (2010) states that to give excellent customer service organisations need to have:

1. A positive, polite, caring and friendly attitude

2. The knowledge and ability to provide quality service by satisfying the customer's needs

3. The process of delivering first rate benefits and treating customers fairly and professionally

Another quote from Ward (2011) suggests that "Excellent customer service is the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer's expectations."

Santander has emerged as the bank with the highest proportion of customer complaints in the UK, with gripes about its banking service flooding in at the rate of one every minute during the first half of this year according to Morris (2010)

The Spanish-owned bank received 216,158 complaints in the first six months of 2010,making it the institution with the highest ratio of complaints to the number of customer accounts. Barclays was next with 195,956. Banks were required to break down complaints into five areas: banking, mortgages, insurance, pensions and investments (See appendix 1 for figures)

Why Santander's customers think that Santander gives bad customer service.

Prestige (2010) states that Santander customers say that there are huge delays in opening new accounts, problems operating accounts with enduring powers of attorney, terms and conditions being broken without explanation and staff in call centres and branches routinely giving the wrong information. They also complain about being forced to wait for ages on premium-rate phone lines, for queries to be answered and a myriad of problems caused by the recent migration of Alliance & Leicester customers to Santander.

Santander (2011) on customer service states that their strength and stability is built on the relationship they have with their customers. They state that they are committed to offering a better service for all their customers as well as innovative, great value products - after all they say that the happier their customers are, the more likely they are to continue to bank with us. "Together. We are Santander"

Customer expectations

Santander should look at customer expectations, to see if there organisation have the necessary skills in place to meet their customers' expectations. Customers want to be treated fairly and courteously. Here are some qualities that customers look for in a service experience as suggested by (Atandar 2010)

* Courtesy

* Prompt attention

* Reliability

* Personal attention

* Responsiveness

* Knowledgeable Staff

* Honest

* Well organised

* Creative

* Ability to solve problems

* Empathy the ability to understand what someone is experiencing and to take action to assist in resolving the situation

(Atandar 2010)

All these are important to any organisation, Santander need to look at which of the above are most important for their customers to create the right mix and feel of such factors to match their expectations.

The servqual model looks at understanding customers' expectations through market research,



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