NMMU Lecturer Takes Banking Research to Foreign Shores

www.MyPE.co.za: Three
years ago research conducted by Nelson
Mandela Metropolitan University

suggested strategies to improve customer relationship management within
banks and in doing so, their service quality levels. Now that research
is going global.

Business management lecturer Chantal
Rootman
(27) from Lorraine will be
taking research that particularly focuses on the knowledge and attitude
of bank employees, to another level and to several other countries.

Chantal, who finished her master’s degree in 2006, has now embarked on
doctoral studies that will compare four major banks in South Africa to
banks in the United Kingdom and Canada.

In her initial studies Chantal indicated strategies to improve,
specifically, the knowledge and attitude of employees, which could in
turn positively influence client management and the service to clients.
In all likelihood, this would increase client satisfaction and ensure
client loyalty to the bank.

Now Chantal is hoping to learn something from South Africa’s
international competitors in a comparative study.
The new research will rely on input from both clients and the banks’
executive managers.  

Chantal hopes to investigate seven possible influences on banks’
customer relationships and ultimately their retention rates. These
include communication with customers, the expertise of employees, the
empowerment of employees, bank costs, technology, ethics and the
personalisation/customisation of products and services.

She decided on this area of research because people expressed the need
for better banking services.
“Everybody always complains about their banks and I felt that I wanted
to do something  to improve banking services in South Africa.
Banks are very important for a country’s economy.

“Banks are also interested in my research and I shared my research
findings with a number of them,” she said. 
Her research has received the blessing of the likes of the BankSeta and
NMMU‘s
Phuhlisa Programme. The latter, meaning “to develop”, is a
mentorship-based development programme aimed at developing the next
generation of academic leaders. It provides each participant with
dedicated mentors, access to a range of skills workshops and where
applicable financial support for research projects.

Chantal Rootman and Madele TaitIn May, Chantal will
present a paper in France at an international
marketing conference, EMAC, authored by herself, along with her
supervisor Prof
Madéle Tait
and Prof Johan Bosch, also of NMMU.
The
paper stems from the research she has conducted for her master’s
degree.

She obtained the degrees BCom (Business Management and Industrial
Psychology), BCom Honours (Business Management) and MCom (Business
Management) cum laude from NMMU.
She has five years’ lecturing
experience and delivered papers at national and international
conferences.

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