Small business banking

Author: Mervyn Flack

Abstract:

The paper argues that the small business market is a key sector for banks, providing the future base for the important corporate middle market and that there are opportunities for hunks to increase their business profitability in this sector while at the same time improving customer satisfaction. It shows how research can play an important role in the improvement of bank performance and profitability in the sector, at points ranging from service development and enhancement through relationship management to monitoring of performance. It provides evidence of a number of interesting trends and issues to be tackled including: -ways of increasing market share of new business customers -the impact of marketing action aimed at small businesses on a bank's reputation in other business sectors -identification of key market segments more likely to grow fast, and their special needs and priorities -the need to communicate the value of banking services to justify their cost -lack of small business understanding of service pricing. Conclusions include the need for better implementation of marketing and relationship management policies at the branch and local office level, opportunities to use new technology t0 add value and improve quality of service, the importance of monitoring all aspects of service quality and ways to strengthen relationships between banks and their small business customers.

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