The Royal road to service quality in banking

John Murphy and Ann Morgan

Managements concerned to improve their levels of customer service need to understand something of the levels and causes of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the existing services. That sounds a simple enough task, but in an area which is inevitably somewhat nebulous it is by no means easy to get it right. This paper, read at the AMSO conference, describes how the Royal Bank of Scotland, following a radical change in objectives and strategy, moved to a more subtle approach than it had used hitherto.

The Royal Bank of Scotland provides itself on delivering a high quality service to our customers. Our slogan 'Where People Matter' epitomises our customer-focused outlook. That slogan was developed in 1987/88 when we embarked on the first stage of our Customer Care programme. Like many other High Street banks, we realised that in an atmosphere of increasing competition we could not afford to become complacent in our dealings with customers whose expectations in respect of service are ever increasing. However, the service delivered to our external customers is only as good as the service which is delivered through our internal customer-supplier chain. Accordingly, the customer care programme aimed to heighten staff awareness of the need to recognise internal customers and to deliver the service which they require.