1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Udeagha (1999:1) observed that Nigerian banks are regarded as the most important custodians of the Liquid asset of most Nigerian citizens, foreigners, groups, organizations and government. They receive money in the form of deposits, transfers or payment from these individuals; social or economic units and government for safe-keeping transfer and so on, and are obliged to make sure funds are available to their clients on demand. Banks also provide loans to various groups, organizations and government agencies. Although these functions of the Nigeria banking industry appear simple in the outlook, they have very important social and economic ramifications like other banks worldwide.
They mobilize funds that would have otherwise lain idle by making what is interested to them available for productive purposes, thereby funds entrusted to them by the citizens, banks provides needed security and peace of mind to the citizens. (Shorage, 1990:1)
Udeagha (1999:2) contented further that before 1986, banks were faced with little or no challenges. The issue of proper bank management did receive enough attention resulting in armchair banking. Today, the situation is different as competition in the industry is growing fast. The competition was occasioned by the structural and adjustment programme, which paved way for the licensing of more banks. Banking in Nigeria is now tending towards a buyers market. As competition in the industry heightens, banks no longer feel safe to play armchairs role to their customers, as was the case before. In the early 1990’s there was a sea of change in the industry that’ sent many chief executives of the industry back to the drawing board to find news ways to compete. At the time, the top management of industry learned the fundamental lesson that customers were willing to pay a price premium for products and services that consistently met high standard of quality. The successful ones were those that changes their processes and empowered their staff through total quality management principles and techniques. The top management of the industry also learnt the good quality of services rendered to the customers has been an important part of operating practices that successful business demand excellent delight with the courtesy, responsiveness, product knowledge, integrity, honesty and trust demonstrated by the staff.
Akpeyi (1996:10) observes that successful financial services industry especially the new generation banks have responded to increased international competition by striving harder to the improved quality. This has increased the focus on service quality as a differentiator between competitive product, as well as price and design, many organizations have recognized this trend and have increased their company’s commitment to high service quality in order to compete successful and survive. No business unless perhaps it is a state controlled monopoly can stay in business unless it has satisfied customers.
Crosby with total commitment to customer service, a new style of management is required in the banking industry, it is a style based on developing skills and recruiting knowledgeable people at all levels throughout the organization. Also is should be a style based on clear standards. It I wroth understand that customers’ service is much more than being nice to those who patronize the organization. It is primarily about satisfying their legitimate needs in a manner, which is effortless on their part, it requires people to interact more efficiently.
Akpeyi (1996:16) observes that in a bid to improve the quality of service delivery and to maintain their own share of the market, banks must embark on aggressive strategies of improving on its services, which can be achieved by adopting the concept of total quality management (TOM).
The concepts integrate basic management techniques and are directed towards increased customers satisfaction company’s survival and success in the business. In essence TOQM process is concentrated on elements such as: