Changes in the customer interface at Zimbabwe Banking Corporation Limited (ZIMBANK) between 1995 and 2003 in the Harare consumer area as a result of new product development and implementation.
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This study seeks to establish whether the introduction of new products between 1995 and 2003 created value for the customers and if the bank's key performance indicators such as profitability and market share improved as a result. The research also intends to identify the benefits and problems associated with development and introduction of new products in the banking sector, and whether or not the benefits are worth the effort and resources invested. Literature on segmentation, product development and customer care, from popular authors such as Kotler were applied. Subjects used were 29 Zimbabwe Banking Corporation Limited customers and 10 non-customers. The self-administered structured questionnaire, in conjunction with face-to-face interviews were used throughout the study. To ensure relevance and reliability of responses, only randomly selected companies and individuals were interviewed. Overall almost three quarters of the respondents affirmed that new products and refurbishments are effective because customer choice is increased, and that simply by introducing new products, the company shows an image of great customer focus. The introduction of new products and refurbishment of branches was also said to enhance the image of the bank. Others associated such changes with increased speed of service and better, more convenient products. Comparing the period before renovations with the one after, the new products introduced and branch refurbishments have had positive impact on the performance of ZIMBANK, as very significant improvements have been noted especially on the aspects of customer service, quality of products and increase in branch network.