Ugandan Banks Need More Public Relations

Ugandan Banks Need More Public Relations


Some of us still use our beds as our banks in Uganda. Lambert thinks the banks need to get out there and do a little PR.

By Lambert Rusoke
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First published: August 28, 2005


I watched a weekly talk show “Tuula Twogere,” on WBS TV some time back that captured my full attention. The moderator, Mr. Drake Ssekebba, had invited guests from institutions that are becoming increasingly important in our society if we are to continue to grow into the capitalistic society we are fast-becoming.


Disparate individuals and businesses somehow manage to work together to produce the goods and services that satisfy people’s wants. The only way that the economy can accomplish this is partly because of the fact that our economy. This then calls for inter relation of all the financial segments of the economy of which banks, among other financial institutions, take priority.

Yet many Ugandans have a narrow understanding of banks and their related functions. To them, any mention of banks relates directly to cash in its physical form. And this is where that broader information should be given to masses, to understand banking not only to mean money, but the factors that enhance that the money kept is safe.

So many banks participate in corporate social responsibilities and as a result this markets their products and services and people get to know more about them. The barriers of effective marketing here though, lies in the fact that when the customers approach the bank, the one-to-one communication between the customer and the front desk officer might not be a successful one, due to misunderstandings between both parties.

Take for the case of long queues that characterize the banking halls usually during school fees periods or short working days like Saturdays where every one finds it suited to do transactions. The problem comes when the people in the queue forfeit their patience and thus resort to throwing insults at the front desk officers and mainly cashiers, accusing them of being too slow, not minding that even those in the queues have better things to do and all kinds of insults. And yet actually this may not be the intention of the cashier.

Customers should know that these cashiers are human and therefore prone to making mistakes. The reason for their slow speed may be due to the fact that the money they are handling is delicate and they have the obligations to answer to their authorities in case they don’t balance at the end of the day, when we (the impatient) customers are resting in our homes.

In all honesty, no staff member can intend to be rude to a customer, because he or she is trained to regard the customer as king. It is this customer that makes the business successful because if there were no customers, then there would be no business, and therefore no income or profit for that matter, a reason for which the business was set up.

What people should know is that, the aspect of human weakness is in everyone, so these staff members can easily fall prey. The banking institutions have found solutions to some of these problems, like the introduction of ATMs to ease long queues at the bank. But even then the masses (some) weren’t satisfied due to ignorance, as people claimed that the banks just want to cheat them of their money. All this is claptrap reasoning.

The bank management, therefore, has the responsibility to inform the public about its products. They should pay for airtime on radio and TV so that people can be informed, of the internal factors associated with the functioning of the bank. This will help create a relationship of understanding between banks and their customers.

By Lambert Rusoke
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First published: August 28, 2005
Lambert Rusoke is a student at Makerere University Business School.
rlamptey2003@yahoo.com.