Project Title: An investigation to determine the effectiveness of the link between investment in RM and profitability-A comparative study.
Name: Christopher Mc Gurrin
Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Mc Guinn
The purpose of this study is to analyse and evaluate the varying levels of resources invested in the practice of relationship marketing in the banking sector. It aims to identify the proportionate level of investment in R.M. practices to establish if they are conducive with prospective profits. The study also aims to ascertain an understanding of customer’s perceptions of their relationship with their respective banks to evaluate how they vary across each segment and hence identify if there is a correlation between the level of investment in R.M. practices by the bank and the consequential level of confidence /trust (confidence benefits*) engendered in each segment.
*Confidence benefits are considered the most important because they reduce anxiety levels associated with a service offering, increase the perceived trust in the provider, diminish the perception of risk and enhance knowledge of service expectations (Bitner, 1995).
The issue of R.M. in the banking sector is of particular importance in the current economic environment when customer levels of confidence and trust are at an all time low. Banking practices are continuously being investigated and with recent liquidation of a number of major banks as well as others requiring liquidity from their respective governments, customers are more than ever re-evaluating the relationship they have with their bank.
The problem is of importance also as there is a widely known gap in the resources and investment extended to different market segments largely based on income levels. Most banks have an appointed C.R.M. manager to cater solely to a small group of key account holders whilst much less resources are invested in developing and nurturing the relationships of lower income level segments such as student account holders. Therefore the study aims to identify if this lack/ variation of resources invested in R.M. to different segments has a negative or potential detrimental effect on the bank i.e. does this negligence of student account holders allow/encourage them to switch banks and become potential long-term key account holders elsewhere? Similarly should banks invest more in developing relationships with younger/lower income segments with the potential of them becoming future key accounts or undertaking future loans, mortgages etc. (ultimately try to determine levels of defection in student accounts vs. key accounts).
Is investment in RM conducive to trust, confidence and profitability in retail banking?
Investigate the various levels of RM investment across customer segments.
Interpret customer perceptions of RM with their bank.
Synthesise if there is a RM investment link with trust, confidence, and profitability.