Responsible Finance Forum

What Do Microfinance Customers Value?

Inez Murray and Elizabeth Lynch
01 October 2003
Source:  Stichting to Promote Women’s World Banking

Women’s World Banking (WWB) network members believe that microfinance should work for poor women,and be financially sustainable. Over the last four years,the WWB global team has worked with network leaders to undertake customer surveys and focus groups to better understand what poor women and men value as customers of microfinance services. This research is used to improve existing products and services, and to design new product offerings.

This What Works note is based on the key findings regarding customer needs and satisfaction levels from research conducted between 1999 and 2001 with four microfinance institutions (MFIs)1, all affiliates of WWB. The findings represent the opinion of over 3,000 individual customers, located in three countries:Bangladesh, Uganda and Colombia. This research was conducted as part of WWB’s Strategic Positioning Program (SPP), which incorporates industry and competitive analysis, diagnosis of the organization, and statistically valid surveys of existing and past clients.Survey questionnaires asked about the importance and satisfaction of clients with a variety of loan attributes, in absolute terms and relative to other service providers.Clients were also asked open-ended questions, including what additional products and services they wanted.