Multiple perspectives on customer relationships
International Journal of Bank Marketing , Volume 32, pp 450-456; doi:10.1108/ijbm-06-2014-0086
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe and conceptualize customer relationships in the financial service sector, focussing on three aspects of customer-bank relationships: the financial service provider perspective, the customer-provider dyad, and the customer context. Design/methodology/approach – Through a short review of the eight papers included in this special issue, this paper illustrates different aspects of customer relationships. It explores customer value formation in the context of banking services, the dynamics and strength of customer relationships, and strategies for financial service provision and consumer trust. Findings – Customer relationships in the financial service sector are increasingly dynamic and unpredictable. This may be due to both activities within the control of financial service providers, such as strategies for service provision, but is more often attributable to factors beyond the control of providers. What empowered customers are doing in their own settings influences their attitudes toward and evaluations of financial services. Research limitations/implications – The paper is conceptual. It challenges the firm-centric approach to customer relationships and compares different perspectives of customer relationships. The significance of the customer-centric perspective is emphasized. Practical implications – Awareness of uncontrollable and idiosyncratic aspects of customer relationships will offer financial service providers new opportunities for being present in the customers’ lives and business. Originality/value – This paper illustrates the importance of extending the focus from what financial service providers are doing to what customers are doing within their own domains. Financial service providers need to understand more about their customers than their perceptions of service quality, satisfaction, and loyalty in different distribution channels, such as internet and mobile banking. The focus should be instead on how customers integrate their financial activities and experiences in their own life or business.
Keywords: Financial services / Relationship marketing / Service marketing / Banking industry / Buyer-seller relationships / Customers
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