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Title: Realising increased value from using knowledge management to improve customer relationship management in a retail banking environment : the case of Standard Bank in Malawi
Author: Kubwalo-Chaika, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 234X
Awarding Body: University of Bolton
Current Institution: University of Bolton
Date of Award: 2016
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Retail banks globally are under the threat of reducing profitability driven by a harsh operating environment. They are facing many challenges including greater competition from non-banking entities, stricter regulatory requirements, more knowledgeable and demanding customers and speed of innovation in terms of new products and services. Customer relationship management (CRM) remains a recognised source of competitive advantage but questions still abound about how it can be deployed effectively and for the benefit of both the customer and the bank. Knowledge management (KM), on the other hand, is also a proven source of competitive advantage and this study uncovers how KM can be used to enhance CRM in order to improve profitability at SBM. This study explored how KM can be deployed to enhance CRM as well as how this resulted in improvement of customer service and satisfaction indices as well as profitability, sales, customer retention and growth in customer base. The sales and customer service teams formed the primary subjects of this study and key productivity measures such as profitability; customer satisfaction as measured through NPS and CEBS, sales trends by segment and customer cross sell ratio by segment were tracked as the output. However, multi-disciplinary teams across Standard Bank in Malawi (SBM) as well as Standard Bank Group (SBG) were involved in designing the solutions to customer issues identified. A framework that combines CRM and KM, the MKC Relationship Management was developed as part of this study through literature review. The MKC Relationship Management framework was then tested through cycles of action research where a plan was developed in the first cycle, tested in the second cycle and this was followed by planning for a third cycle. The results of each cycle were measured and tracked over a period of time before being reviewed for impact. The final planning cycle was undertaken to see how further improvements could be made to the framework. The study adopted a critical theory philosophy and the approach was deductive in nature because current theories of KM and CRM were applied to the specific situation at SBM. Qualitative data collection methods were used within the two cycles of AR which included: three in-depth interviews with the heads of the business units within PBB, two focus group discussions (with the business bankers as well as the service teams) and document analysis of past research and project documents were among the qualitative data collection methods used. The data collected from all these sources was analysed using the thematic analysis method. The study resulted in a contribution to knowledge which was both conceptual and practical in nature. The MKC Relationship Management framework contributed to the ever growing theoretical knowledge of how KM and CRM can be integrated. Apart from this, the practical contribution was in the form of increased profitability in SBM Retail Banking, a structured manner of resolving issues that were resulting in negative customer experience. In addition to this, a thematic analysis approach to data analysis was applied in a banking research in Malawi. Further, a home grown IT system known as the I-serve system was commissioned at SBM and put to use to drive business results. The use of social media was also tested in order to take advantage of this growing technological revolution to drive business results using the mobile phone as a catalyst of knowledge sharing. This was among the first formally studied researches into use of such media for business in Malawi.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available