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State Bank of India is the largest Indian bank with the huge number of customers across the country. It provides services into urban areas and in rural areas as well. It has the maximum number of customers all over the country; in other worlds we can say it is a dominant bank of India with a monopoly especially in the rural area. SBI provides a range of banking products through its vast network of branches in India and overseas, including products aimed at nonresident Indians (NRIs). The State Bank Group, with over 16,000 branches, has the largest banking branch network in India. SBI has 14 Local Head Offices and 57 Zonal Offices that are located at important cities throughout the country. It also has around 130 branches overseas. With an asset base of $352 billion and $285 billion in deposits, SBI is a regional banking behemoth and is one of the largest financial institutions in the world. It has a market share among Indian commercial banks of about 20% in deposits and loans. T The State Bank of India is the 29th most reputed company in the world according to Forbes. Also SBI is the only bank featured in the coveted "top 10 brands of India" list in an annual survey conducted by Brand Finance and The Economic Times in 2010.

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Customer base of 150 million. It has 131 overseas offices spread over 32 countries.

The State Bank of India is the largest of the Big Four banks of India, along with ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank and HDFC Bank its main competitors. SBI has 21000 ATMs.

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SBI has 26500 branches, inclusive of branches that belong to its Associate banks. SBI alone has 18500 branches. SBI is the only bank consisting 26% participation in public sector banks and 39% participation in commercial banks in India.


Customer Gap identifies the different sources of gaps or differences between the service quality that a customer expect to receive from a service provider and the customer perception of the service actually received. CUSTOMER GAP OF SBI: Customers of State Bank of India do have some of the expectations from the services provided by the bank and they want these expectations to be fulfilled from the bank, however in many cases bank is unable to fulfill those expectations properly, therefore it has created a gap between the customer expectations of the services and the perceptions of the management of the bank. Some of the loopholes in the services provided by bank are as follows: y Laid back Attitude Mismanagement Poor Staffing Slow Service Misbehaviour ATM Technical problems Poor infrastructure Outdated work culture Procedural bottlenecks

These loopholes in customer services give birth to the some of the Customer Gaps. And these Customer gaps can be seen below-

GAP 1: Listening (Knowledge Gap)

SBI has the largest number of branches in the country to entertain its large number of customer base. Still we can see that there is chaos in most of the branches and in ATM Machines as well.

a) Insufficient Relationship Focus:

y Bank focuses on making new customers in order to increase its market share continuously however doesn t pay proper heed towards the rapport building and problem solving of the existing ones . The above reason directly indicates that Bank mainly focuses on the transactions rather than relationship building with the customers therefore it leads them to a greater market share and transaction history with lots of chaos in the branches and ATM machines.

b) Inadequate Service Recovery: y Employees of SBI show are quiet casual behavior towards the customer s problems and issues, there is a lack of encouragement to listen to customer complaints. Example- Many customer complaint that employees of the Bank doesn t pay heed towards their problems if they face any problem e.g. with their account, with their debit cards, or at the time of any false transaction made from their accounts. And they pass buck from one department to another most of the time. It distresses customers most. There is no proper recovery mechanism if something goes wrong with any customer s account. Sometimes they recover the problem very earlier and sometimes they take too long to resolve the mistake which is made from bank s end.

GAP 2: Provider Gap (Design and Standard Gap)

a) POOR SERVICE DESIGN: We can see most of the SBI branches are overcrowded, there are long queues and sometimes bank premises is unable to accommodate the crowed, Parking area is also overcrowded with vehicles. It clearly represents the Poor service design of the Branch. b) INAPPROPRIATE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE AND SERVICES: PHYSICAL EVIDENCE: The elements of 'marketing mix' which customers can actually see or experience when they use a service, and which contribute to the perceived quality of the service, e.g. the physical evidence of a retail bank could include the state of the branch premises, as well as the delivery of the banking service itself. SBI is grappling with this problem; Many SBI branches are unable to accommodate its customers. As having a huge customer base SBI has a very less infrastructure to entertain its customers properly. There are very less counters with response to its customer size. Therefore most of the time branches are overcrowded. c) ABSENCE OF CUSTOMER DRIVEN STANDARDS: SBI branches are lacking with the appropriate customer driven standards. Customers have to think many times before going to a branch, many of them schedule a specific time when they think there would be a less footfall e.g. early in the morning. Comparing with its competitor banks e.g. ICICI, HDFC, Axis Bank, City Bank etc. SBI legs way behind in terms of its customer driven standards. There is no specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to assist a customer, and proper infrastructure, counters, security, and other basic amenities which are required to provide proper customer service delivery is missing from most of the banks.

GAP 3: Performance Gap

a) DEFFICIENCIES IN HUMAN RESOURCE POLICIES: y There is a shortage of manpower in SBI, numbers of employees are less and the customer base is very much higher than those, therefore it creates lots of problems to provide proper customer services. There is a lack of empowerment, perceived control and teamwork in the employees which is another big issue providing proper customer service. Employees are not motivated to provide assist customer, reason might be poor management and training and development of the employees.

b) PROBLEMS WITH SERVICE INTERMEDIARIES: y There is a problem with the service intermediaries of the Bank. SBI has outsourced its customer service department to a third party. Sometimes the outsourcing company employees mislead customers because those people are not eligible for that job (Eligibility is 10+2) these people don t know many things about the financial matters, and this ignorance results in misleading the customers. If we talk about the ATM side of the bank many machines don t work properly or have insufficient funds or networking problems or security problems. SBI has given it s ATM machines maintenance work to some of the IT vendors and these vendors don t take care of the machines regularly and it again turns in the mental agony of the customers.

CUSTOMERS WHO DO NOT FULFIL THEIR ROLES: y There are many customers who are dealing with the Bank but lack knowledge of their roles and responsibilities. Bank people don t educate them properly when they start providing those services, and later on this ignorance proves a big issue for the customers and for the banks as well. Being as a financial service provider bank plays an important role in customer s life, therefore bank should educate them about their products or services and avoid further hiccups in the system.

Gap 4: Communication Gap

OVERPROMISING: SBI overpromises in its advertisements, therefore people gets fascinated towards these promises, and it increases the number of customers and which further are unable to entertain properly, as mentioned earlier that SBI pays more heeds towards adding new customers and less on existing customers.

INADEQUATE HORIZENTAL COMMUNICATON: This is the biggest problem of SBI; they pass on bucks from one department to another nobody takes initiatives to solve the customer problem. If a customer has some problem with his/her account transaction, than he first goes to bank and first he doesn t find anyone in the reception and somehow he manages to go to the Accounts handling department, they send him to transactions department and transaction people send him to customer service department and so on. Customer gets fed up with these rounds and finds as he is trapped or he has done a crime by dealing with the bank.

INEFFECTIVE MANAGEMANT OF CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS: What a customer expects from the Bank that is not fulfilled completely. When a customer starts taking banking services from SBI he thinks a better management, security better customer service, any time service etc however bank doesn t provide him all the things and he keeps grappling with the availed service.

Service Quality Gap Analysis of State Bank of India

TANGIBILITY: Customer expectation for basic amenities is much more than what he perceives in branches. Customers are not satisfied with the basic amenities in the branches. COMPETENCE: In the case of employee competence, customer perception is less than their expectation as there is negative gap. The gap between what the customer expects and what is being presented before him. RESPONSIVENESS: In this service quality dimension, customer expectation from bank is much more than what he perceives while doing transaction with the bank. This poses a question on the very attitude of the employees. SAFETY: In the case of safety of transactions, customer perception is much more than his expectation. Branch premises are safe and customers find accuracy in transactions with bank. The bank has satisfied its customers in safety of their transactions with the bank. COMMUNICATION: Customers expect better communication from bank employees than they perceive. Employees do not clearly explain the various options available to a particular query. Most of the customers have the view that employees do not inform in advance if a scheduled appointment is to be missed.