The service I’m going to select is going to be the service that people use the most, which is personal banking. I personally use the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and have only used their banking services since I first opened an account when was a teenager, which was the same bank my parents used also. The customer gap, which is the gap or difference between the customer expectations and the customer perceptions, does exist at this bank as I am sure they exist at most banks.
Seeing this is Canada’s largest bank, I’d like it if their hours of operation for my branch were longer like some other banks. Also, seeing they are the most profitable bank in Canada, I’d like to see their branches looking a little better looking and their customer service to be slightly better than that of others. I believe because of the fierce competition for banking and regulations, most banks are pretty much the same in terms of their branch looks, service delivery and fees.
There are some types of those “no fees” banks out there but they do not have branches and services like RBC. I’d rather pay the fees for their full breath of services (such as loans, mortgages and credit cards), convenience of locations and access to ATM’s (like at all Esso gas stations) when needed.
Gap 1, which is the gap between customer expectations and the company’s understanding of those expectations, does also exist. Some of the factors that contribute to this is because they have a lot of “frontline” employees, which probably do not communicate all issues to upper management. Also, because RBC is such a huge corporation, most of these issues would not really be addressed. There are many layers of upper management throughout the organization and would not be able to change things easily, such as changing the hours of branch hours. There would be many policies in place to make it difficult to do this.
Gap 2 is not having the right service designs and standards. This is the difference between the company understanding of customer expectation and development of customer driven service designs and standards.
The only thing I would comment about the RBC branch is the look and feel of my branch. I’d rather is feel a little more luxurious or classier that the competition, with some nice chairs and other things to create a nice ambiance. I always hear about how much profit they make each of their quarterly results on Bay Street. Why not reinvest it back into the branches? I feel that RBC should be like the “Cadillac” of banks, not just the same as all others.
The most difficult Gap is 3, which is the discrepancy between development of customer-driven service standards and actual service performance by company employees. This is something that RBC does quite well and I would not really complain about. I’m currently at my third new home branch and I must say that all of these branches plus any other branches I have visited on occasion are pretty much identical. This is pretty impressive seeing that the human aspect is the most difficult to maintain. You can tell that they spend a lot of time and effort in training in these areas and employees take pride in working for them.
The last Gap 4 is the difference between service delivery and the service provider’s external communication. Also know as Not Matching Performance to Promises. I believe this gap does not really exist at RBC because of all of their policies and procedures they have in place, across the whole corporation and branches. I can’t get a lower monthly banking fee or interest rate at one branch over another.
Whenever getting a loan or mortgage, they take the time to go through all the paperwork to explain everything to you so there are no surprises. Their horizontal communication is fantastic. Again, this is from taking the time and effort to train their employees. As you can see, RBC is a great service to do your banking with and I will probably never change my bank from them. My only complaint with them is seeing them do something with all their profits that I can see at their branches or lowering my banking fees (wishful thinking).
I do love the convenience of all their locations which are almost like “cookie cutters” of each other in terms of look, feel and service. I don’t need to go to my home branch to get the same services as I can elsewhere, most of the time. Because of their strict policies, procedures and effort to train their employees, it’s a no wonder why they are the number one bank in Canada. Maybe I should invest in their stock and reap the rewards of their profits in the form of dividends back in my pocket.