Microfinance industry is now affected by strong competition : “ commercial banks have begun to target MFIs’ traditional customers , new MFIs have continued to be created in microfinance industry, the microfinance clientele is becoming more sophisticated concerning the quality of service they require or expect”( Daubert 2002) . These factors may negatively affect the MFIs. In fact, the microfinance industry is losing customers because of both the aggressive competition and MFIs’ weakness to satisfy their clients (Urguizo 2006). This simple description shows why MFIs are concerned about customer satisfaction and retention. It ...view middle of the document...
Indeed, customer satisfaction has great significance for the future of an institution and it is seen as a basis for securing market position and achieving other objectives of the institution (Koraus , 2002).
This study focuses on customer satisfaction with respect to the services of Micro-finance institutions in Srilanka. Data have been extracted from one MFI (the Women Association and Gain for both Economic and Social: WAGES) for two reasons: (1) WAGES is the second biggest MFI in Srilanka; launched in 1994, it grew rapidly serving nowadays more than 64.710 clients divided in eight branches located in the Srilankans’ biggest towns. Thus, studying WAGES’ case will provide an exhaustive insight on MFI’customer satisfaction issue in Srilanka. (2) WAGES is one of the “market oriented” MFIs with a well established marketing department aiming to develop new products on clients’ needs and competitors’ strategic actions basis. Thus, it was easy to access to WAGES’ database and installations what was impossible for other institutions mainly characterized by opaque structures.
Srilankans’MFI sector experienced big competition since 2007; active MFIs increased in number reaching 167 institutions (Srilankans MFI network Report, 2007). The multiplication of financial institutions (MFIs and commercial banks), a weak diversification of products and the lack of entrance barriers (MFI sector) are among elements explaining hard competition in the sector. While many MFIs have been concerned by competition, WAGES has been highly affected losing almost 5 % of active clients. WAGES’ marketing department positively reacted by conducting a customer satisfaction survey in June 2008 aiming to indentify clients’ needs and complaints for defining management implications for operational and strategic actions. Using WAGES’ survey outcome, this study aims to determine MFIs’ customer satisfaction level in Srilanka. The objective is to determine the current customer satisfaction level, to understand the main dimensions of service from the customer point of view and, at the end, to assess if the customer satisfaction is influenced by some characteristics of customers like: number of services obtained, the location of customer, the age, the sex (gender), the school level and number of years spent as customer in the MFI.
Customer satisfaction is a subject with a lot of interest in both the marketing and finance literature. The great emphasis on customer satisfaction has given birth to multiple studies and innovative methodologies to assess and to understand customer behavior. Parasuraman et al.1985, 1988) are among the most well-known researchers who assessed customer satisfaction using service quality (ServQuality) model. Today, ServQuality model is used, with few adaptations, in multiple sectors to assess both service perceptions and expectations “across a range of different service characteristics” (European Commission, 2008). The original model is adapted in...