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The SME Market is considered one of the most dynamically growing segments of the Georgian economy and one of the major job-providers in the country. The role of the banks in developing this segment of the economy is becoming more and more important. In spite of strong competition, TBC Bank has clearly succeeded in taking the leading position as the best partner bank of the SME sector.
In fact, the majority of Georgian SME companies are clients of TBC Bank . Since 2009, the number of SME clients has doubled and at the moment, TBC Bank has more than 43,000 SME clients which represents 44% of the entire market. In 2012, TBC Bank held 38% of the entire market, which indicates that the number of TBC’s SME clients has increased more than the number of SME clients in the entire market. This increase in the number of SME clients shows that more and more such companies are choosing TBC Bank , including those which are already clients of other banks.
At the same time. as the number of SME clients is increasing, TBC Bank ’s SME Portfolio is also increasing: the annual increase in the SME credits portfolio is 28% on average. The SME account portfolios in TBC Bank increase by 43% on average annually.
What’s the strategy that has enabled the long-time leader in the retail and large corporate clients’ market - TBC Bank - to become the leader in the SME segment as well?
The following are some of the factors that have played an important role in the success of the Bank’s strategy:
• the high professional level of the Bank’s SME service employees;
• its well-developed and sophisticated service channels;
• the highest quality of service it provides;
• the innovative programme to support SMEs - “ Seven Steps to Success”.
The N1 Bank, According to Client Satisfaction Level
Indisputably, one of the main factors that has enabled TBC Bank to succeed in the SME segment is the Bank’s “trademark: quality” and high level of client satisfaction.
At present, TBC Bank holds the first, leading position for client satisfaction. According to the results of research conducted in 2013 by Market Intelligence Caucasus, holder of the license of TNS Global in the South Caucasus, TBC Bank holds the 1st position by “Customer Retention Index.”
The Customer Retention Index is based on customer satisfaction and loyalty to a bank. European banks have 64 on average. In the case of TBC Bank , the index is 63. The Georgian bank that holds the second position in Customer Retention have an index of just 59.
Therefore, from the point of view of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, TBC Bank is the best in Georgia and is on a par with European banks.
According to the same aforementioned research, 34% of TBC Bank ’s clients are so-called “Brand Ambassadors” of the Bank; which means that they are loyal supporters of TBC Bankand strongly recommend others to become clients of TBC Bank – more than any other bank on the Georgian market.
The same research shows that for the second-rated banks only 28% of their clients are “envoys” for them. For European banks, it’s 36%. Hence, TBC Bank is once again on a par with European banks.
Other bank customer surveys show that TBC Bank has the highest rates for comfortable and agreeable branch offices with fast procedures, friendly and pleasant employees etc.
All of this is the result of TBC Bank ’s consistent policy and countless efforts to improve customer service and client satisfaction level.
An Absolute Novelty in the Market - the Project that Has Covered Not Just Tbilisi , but also Kutaisi and Batumi
Several months ago TBC Bank launched a new, innovative business support project called “Seven Steps to Success”. This project is designed to support the development of SMEs.
“Since the future of the country’s economy depends on the development of small and medium business, we wish to increase our activities in this regard. This is the main reason why we have decided to build a new platform for fostering relations with SME business. In the framework of this new platform we plan to offer SMEs long-term partnerships not just by providing SMEs with bank products, but also free business consulting services. This approach will assist in the growth of SMEs and hence, be very good for the country’s economy,” says the CEO of TBC Bank, Vakhtang Butskhrikidze.
The Business Support Programme of TBC Bank consists of 7 components:
1. Free trainings (classes) for SME representatives;
2. An information web-platform, which encompasses numerous information sources for SME representatives;
3. Thematic conferences to share experience and to improve communication;
4. Free consulting for specialists in various fields;
5. Internet banking for entities;
6. Mobile banking for entities;
7. SMS service for entities.
Free Trainings in Tbilisi , as well as in Kutaisi and Batumi
TBC Bank launched the first component of its new Business Support Programme - Free Trainings - in April 2013. In the summer of 2013, the training programme expanded to Georgia’s second and third largest cities, Kutaisi and Batumi.
At the moment, the trainings cover three subjects: social media marketing, effective human resource management, and finances. More than 700 people underwent trainings in Tbilisi , but this number will increase by 2,000 people by the end of next year and additional topics will be added to the agenda.
Unique Web Platform - Free Resource for Business Management
The next stage in the business support programme, after free trainings, is an informative (educational) web platform. This web platform will be created by TBC Bank and will represent an information resource for small and medium-sized companies.
“This will be a webpage where companies will be able to find necessary information, business deals and profit-loss patterns etc. Moreover, this webpage will be interactive, which means that the users will be able to ask our auditors and consultants questions and receive answers,” says CEO Butskhrikidze.
Another component of the programme is Thematic Conferences. TBC Bank will organize special thematic conferences for small and medium sized business representatives. TBC Bank plans to invite well-known specialists to conduct these conferences, so that they can share their own experience, offer advice and inform the participants of the conference about novelties in their respective spheres of interest.
In addition, TBC Bank is planning to offer small and medium-sized business companies free consulting services - this will give SME representatives an opportunity to consult lawyers, auditors etc. “Most importantly, we plan to continue looking for other ways and methods to make our service more effective. In this regard, we may conduct a survey to find out what sort of trainings and conference would be most helpful to them,” says Butskhrikidze.
In addition to non-financial services, TBC Bank plans to offer small and medium-sized business companies various technological services within the framework of the Business Support Programme. One of the components of such services, namely Internet Banking for entities, is already in place. The other two services, Mobile Banking and SMS services for entities, will be in place by the end of the year.
The aforementioned technological services will allow the Bank’s clients to switch to modern management methods that will assure their business success. At the moment, 80% of non-cash transactions are conducted via online services.
Internet banking for entities has already brought the Bank international recognition - “The Global Finance” Magazine awarded TBC Bank in the nomination of the Best Internet Bank for Entities in Central and Eastern Europe.
Seven Steps to Success - 2013 Best Direct Marketing Campaign
The budget of the Business Support Programme launched by TBC Bank is unprecedented in Georgia. However, the management of the Bank believes that this will be a great investment in the economy of the country overall and have a positive influence on the entire sector. “We hope that our programme will assist in the effective development of the companies; hence, our bank - as a financial institution, will get a more steady business partner and the country will have more jobs and a better economic environment,” says TBC Bank ’s CEO Vakhtang Butskhrikidze.
In addition to the business and economic benefits, the innovative project “Seven Steps to Success” has already received significant international recognition - just recently TBC Bank ’s project “Seven Steps to Success” was nominated as the “2013 Best Direct Marketing Campaign” at the international marketing contest “Business Awards for Marketing Brilliance.” It was the first time that Georgia had participated in this contest.
Such an evaluation by the judges, which represented independent experts, Google, the Guardian Group, American Express, Nokia and other world leading companies, is obvious proof of how unique, innovative and effective this project launched by TBC Bank really is. Such a rewarding evaluation by world leading companies is significant both for TBC Bank ’s SME clients as well as this segment of business overall.
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