Electronic delivery channels and customer satisfaction, retention and profitability in banks
What is it about?
Relationship Marketing efforts have been developed in many organizations in order to make customer and company relationships last longer and generate advantages for both sides. Both practitioners and academics understand that customer satisfaction influences customer loyalty, which in turn affects profitability. The efficiency conversion process, toward a service-profit chain, has also been studied, as it can be used for relative performance analysis among business units. However, an extensive use of electronic delivery channels could bring effects on constructs, at the customer level, and also on efficiency process, at the delivery units level. The author relates satisfaction – retention – profitability to delivery channels in retail banking, considering that electronic delivery channels preference and use could influence: satisfaction, in terms of perceived performance of technological attributes; retention, that could be driven by delivery infrastructure; and profitability, as customers would be using less costly channels. The author also analyses these relationships, toward a service-profit chain, to investigate different efficiency types – operational, marketing and profits – considering delivery units segmented into homogeneous groups. Two samples were extracted from a large Brazilian retail bank and two models were presented: one, at the customer level; and other, at the delivery units’ level. SEM - Structural Equation Modeling and DEA - Data Envelopment Analysis were the techniques used in each respective situation. 15 The findings can be splited into two groups. The first one refers to relationships among constructs. They indicate that delivery channel is only associated to satisfaction. Retention is mediated by satisfaction and profits are exclusively impacted by retention. All those loads are positive. As delivery channel is mostly determined by performance perceptions, it is plausible that its impacts occur on satisfaction and not on profitability, that would be impacted by use. If an Internet Banking customers sample is used, it can be observed that delivery channel does not relate to any other construct. Satisfaction at this group is not influenced by physical service and infrastructure performance, in spite of being affected by phone services and employee knowledge availability. At last, when Internet Banking customers are compared with other customers, it can be noticed that they have the same amount of transactions and use to go to the branch more times a week. So, by the time this sample was collected, the Internet Banking was perceived as an additional channel. The second group of findings comes from the aggregate level model which compares operational, marketing and profit efficiency, toward homogeneous groups of delivery units. In each group, efficiency types have a different behavior, but operational efficiency subtypes are quite similar, what implicates a compensation movement among remote, presencial, traditional and electronic infrastructure. The positive association among operational, marketing and profit efficiencies does not happen directly and linearly. As well, electronic channel efforts have distinct consequences on marketing and profits efficiencies, depending on each group profile. Finally, a comparative analysis model for units under the same efficiency curve is presented. Managerial implications of these conclusions are discussed.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Fernando De Rosa