The case of Lloyds TSB Bank: Phase one

The case of Lloyds TSB Bank: Phase one

Phase one: Secondary research

The primary purpose of this phase was to address the following ‘terms of reference’:

—    To provide a brief introduction to Lloyds TSB Bank, and to the Lloyds TSB student account

—    To identify the key characteristics of the service in terms of offering it to the market.

This exercise promoted the authors’ understanding of the service product, which facilitated the identification of potential faults from the actual process, and opportunities in the form of solutions using flowcharts.

In addition, by highlighting the service characteristics, valuable marketing insights were established that ‘sparked off a holistic approach to the analysis, culminating in a re-engineering of the service process.

Phase two — Primary research: Interview of bank managers

In order to explore the research question and objectives further, ‘semi-structured’ interviews with four local bank managers were held. Further, various junior members of staff were interviewed. This provided an ideal opportunity to add more depth and additional insight for the development of the service quality process maps. Bank managers were chosen as suitable respondents for the interviews because of their multiple responsibilities (eg branch operations and administration, supervision and human resources, and, to a greater or lesser extent, merchandising and marketing). In addition, bank managers interact directly with customers, making them customer contact workers as well as supervisors. Thus, the roles of these bank managers have critical strategic implications for operations, marketing and human resources management in addition to their impact on customer perception of service quality. However, the constraints imposed upon the study by time and costs considerations did not allow calls to interview students.

A range of question types was used, including open, probing, specific and closed questions. The protocol interview focused on the following themes:

— the background of the firm

—   analytic applications of various stages of opening student accounts

—      queuing system at the branch

—      roles of front-line and back-room staff

—      cheque cycle time

—      customer time

—      checking IT functionality

—      IT legacy systems

—      approval cycle time

—      notification cycle time

—      filtering section

—      process efficiency issues

—      the web community.

The emphasis was on understanding the interviewee’s explanations and meanings as effectively and efficiently as possible. Furthermore, the interviewee was provided with a list of the most important themes one week before the interview. This was intended to promote the credibility of the research, and also to promote validity and reliability through enabling the interviewee time to consider the information requested. In order to identify comments that were important to the research topic, attentive listening by the interviewer was thus extremely important.

A major concern was that the findings from qualitative research using an interview that is unrepresentative of the population frame (ie all retail banks offering student accounts) cannot be used to make generalisations. However, the validity and understanding that have been gained from the interviews has substantially more to do with data collection and analysis, than the size of the sample.

Weatherly and Tansik (1993) pointed out that one of the dilemmas of studying individuals in highly demanding occupations is the threat that they may be ‘too busy’ to participate. McGrath, Martin and Kulka (1982) stated that data collection is often a process of compromise between suitability and accessibility. They went on to argue that researchers may choose at times to forego some of the usually desired characteristics of scientific research (eg randomness, sample size, response rate) in exchange for mundane considerations such as how well the response pool typifies the behaviour under study or how accessible the respondents are. Therefore, dimensional, purposive sampling was used in constructing this case design because of certain limitations: financial resources and time.

Representative APR 391%

Let's say you want to borrow $100 for two week. Lender can charge you $15 for borrowing $100 for two weeks. You will need to return $115 to the lender at the end of 2 weeks. The cost of the $100 loan is a $15 finance charge and an annual percentage rate of 391 percent. If you decide to roll over the loan for another two weeks, lender can charge you another $15. If you roll-over the loan three times, the finance charge would climb to $60 to borrow the $100.

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