This maiden chapter gives the general overview of the concepts of a customer, a service, service
characteristics, customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as the conduct of customer relationship management in the
banking industry of Ghana. General overview of concepts of customer, service, customer behavior and customer
relationship management in the banking industry of Ghana
1.1 Definition of a Customer
The terms ‘customer’ and ‘consumer’ are often used interchangeably to describe the person or organization
which buys the services or products. Bayer (1987) explains that Different organizations use different terminology to
describe their customers, or the recipients of their products or services. For those working in the private, profit-making
organization, the term customer, or consumer, with its connotation of economic exchange may be apt. Other
organizations may seek to de-emphasize this economic relation. Service organizations for example in the view of
Taylor (1994) often use the term guest or visitor to refer their customers. Within industrial markets, the customer may
be seen as a partner, indeed if we return to the idea of the value chain, the organization and partner will have a keen
interest in the end-user. For those working for the public sector, or non-profit organizations, the term customer may
carry negative connotations. Other words may be necessary to describe those to whom they provide services. Sheth
(1994) also says for example, local government may serve: clients, users, recipients and or beneficiaries. It is usual
for one to find that different words will be appropriate in different circumstances and in different service. Jagdish
sheth concludes that it may be necessary to have more than one word to describe the relationship between the
organization and those who receive its services because the relationship itself is multi-dimensional.
1.1.1 Customer (Consumer) Behavior
What is Customer (Consumer) Behavior? Marking and Narayana (1995) is of the conviction that a product
or service that does not provide an answer to a buyer’s problem will not be sought or accepted by customers, even if
other aspects or the marketing mix, such as advertising, are perfectly designed and executed. Effective marketers find
out what customers need and offer them a need-satisfying product; they should want it. Or at least that is the theory.
The study and appreciation of consumer behavior should, therefore, give effective marketing management information
which can be unused to increase the chances of success in the marketplace. It is worth remembering that marketer’s
do not dealing in absolutes; there is no guaranteed success attached to adhering to, and implementing, any theory.
Judgment and interpretation of information and data will always be necessary. When talking about consumer behavior.