Operating any business without the application of information technology in the modern business world is impossible. The world has gone digital and in every sector of the economy, entrepreneurs are busy applying information technology systems to run their businesses smoothly. Nevertheless, the invention of information technology and its entrance into the business arena has seen, customers demand better services whenever they do business or receive services. From banking to financial markets, stock exchange to retail markets, businesspersons use information technology principles to attract, serve and retain customers.
Furthermore, business organizations that have successfully retrieved information technology into their business operating modes, receive greater revenues as compared to those that do not apply information technology principles. Therefore, the impact of any business operating under the influence of information technology is great, especially in attracting customers. Customers require quick and efficient services rather than slow and boring ones in today’s globalizing world. With the perceived globalization, information technology is driving the world into first-class customer services. (Schaeffer, 2003, p.30).
Arguably, information technology creates pleasing customer services through two basic applications. Firstly, there must be software materials installed into the computer hardware to retrieve, store or process relative data according to instructions. For example, web browsers commonly use software-enabled systems to search prescriptions of different products and services online. Interestingly, with the ever-growing information technology applications, customers can purchase commodities via online means. This reduces long queues normally experienced in many retail shops and markets.
Secondly, hardware devices like servers and microcomputers provide the internet and store data for easy communication between businesspersons and customers. In this context, businesses guarantee customer satisfaction and increase customer urge, towards certain commodities. The paper will examine the impact of information technology on customers. Through personal experiences with Barclays Bank, e-banking provides the best example of technology’s impact on customers.
How the company introduced the new product to customers
One area that has greatly improved due to information technology in the banking industry. A long time ago, like any other bank, Barclays Bank used to operate using book records. Bank attendants had to record down, detailed bank information in books rather than using computers. Even so, there were few computers and the available software materials did not help these banks a lot. Therefore, these computer systems only stored limited customer information leading to poor services and few customers. Under these circumstances, it is evident that customers had hard times from long queues to slow data processing and retrieval.
At times, when customers were many, some could not even able to receive services on one particular day. However, with the introduction of information technology, at least all banks acquired hardware devices installed with relevant software devices, which could store, generate, program, and process any stored customer data speedily. These hardware and software devices store customers’ details for easier data generation to serve customers better. (Karimi, Somers & Gupta, 2001, pp.125-150).
This did not stop here. Several banks Barclays Bank included, introduced an IT system, which allows customers to withdraw money using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) cards. These ATM cards operate under software instructions. Normally, hardware devices receive and process data under software programming instructions. Since then, ATM point machines have enormously attracted many customers into the banking industry. In general terms, this is electronic banking (E-Banking). Consequently, with the introduction of electronic banking (E-Banking), customer satisfaction improved, enabling more sales and new product launches. As a result, there is increased customer loyalty to Barclays Bank services, which also realizes financial profitability through their deployed information technology system (e-banking). (Cronin, 1997, pp.40-41).
Ways That Added Value from the New Information Technology Proven
Market studies indicate that the launch of E-Banking by banks for example in China has seen further selling and acquisition of excellent services to able bank customers, hence, customer loyalty. These banks allow small and medium enterprise firms to acquire loan facilities even through mobile banking to expand their businesses. Notably, the replacement of complex and medieval banking brands with new information technology-oriented ones, made banking easier and enjoyable for all bank users.
Perhaps one of the many ways that added value to E-Banking is the role of Information technology in underlining the bank’s strategic decisions. Strategic decisions comprise customer satisfaction. For customers to be satisfied fully, they need fast, unswerving, and proficient services. Therefore, this type of technology allows accurate data processing within a short time. Additionally, user demands dictate any banking industry to acquire an efficient and fast system for easier services and customer satisfaction. (Ashling, 2005, pp.1-3).
Information technology is beneficial to customers since it enables quick data access and faster service delivery. For example, banks with multiple information entities have greater advantages in applying relevant information technology since; many customers can follow their products through their network. For instance, banks can send electronic mails to their clients through emails about new products or on bank balances and statements. This will increase customer loyalty and save more time for other potential opportunities. With the availability of the internet, customers can search for products they want not only in the banking sector but in other business industries as well. This is why numerous investment organizations and business enterprises, sought to embark on internet advertisements to reach the whole world. A good example is when; a person in China can trade in the New York stock exchange market courtesy of the internet. Likewise, somebody residing in the United States can order and pay for a Toyota car from Japan online without necessarily visiting showrooms. (Skyrme, 1994, pp.19-26).
New Partnerships with Information Technology Partners and Enhanced Customer
Without any dire debate, information technology affects every customer and brings sanity into business outsourcing strategies. It creates new and strong business partnerships within cutting-edge technologies. Many times, this is the reason why, so many companies and industries employ information technology to attract, retain and impress their customers. This is not only being innovative but also creating a confident customer loyalty environment and catering for both small and medium enterprises to generate more revenue for a stable economy.
For example, the implementation of E-Banking in Barclays Bank several years ago has seen new and improved products unveiled, thereby, drawing attention from customers. Electronic banking allows customers to withdraw or deposit their money within minutes of sending information. Mobile phone services like money transfer in collaboration with this bank, enable all user customers to access their bank details from anywhere without necessarily traveling to banking halls for this simple service. More importantly, the system is secure and guarantees confidentiality at all times. Additionally, any information received is explicit and detailed regarding the amount of money available for withdrawal and any other information that a customer may demand.
Thus, through information technology, customers access the performances of their businesses, account status, and newly introduced products and services. For instance, in the banking industry, automated information processing enables customers to connect with the bank at any time at any point in the bank’s network coverage. Thus, information technology creates business partnerships and strengthens customer loyalty with the bank.
Indeed, information technology is result-oriented and helps businesses to grow and generate more revenue. The high revenue generated is because of attracted customers who want to use the implemented information technology systems either for their small and medium enterprises or for their day-to-day activities. Nevertheless, E-Banking is one of those technologies that have drawn support from customers and increased bank-to-customer partnerships. Moreover, this system creates an excellent medium of communication, customer connectivity, customization of products, and contextual business functionalities. These and many other information technology factors result in customer benefits and business expansion.
Ashling, J. (2005). Recent developments in China. Information Today, 22(4), 1-3.
Cronin, J. (1997). Banking and Finance on the Internet, John Wiley and Sons p.40.
Karimi, J,.Somers, T., & Gupta, Y. (2001). Impact of Information Technology Management Practices on Customer Service, Journal of management information systems, 17(4), pp. 125-150.
Schaeffer, R. K. (2003).Globalization and technology. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 83(4), 30.
Skyrme, D. (1994). Ten Ways to Add Value to Your Business. Managing Information, 1(3), pp. 19-26.