Impact of Customer Relationship Management on Customer Retention in Banking Sector
Table of Contents
Impact of Customer Relationship Management on Customer Retention in Banking Sector
Today, most of the economies around the world have become more service oriented and services obtained the highest portion of their GDP. Banking Industry is known as the backbone of any country. According to Kaynak & Kucukemiroglu (1997) as cited by Anabila & Vitor (2013), Banking Industry is one of highly competitive industry, not only banks but several financial companies also competing with banks. Majority of citizens in a country consuming banking services in different scale. Very similarly to the general scenario, banking industry is playing a vital role in UK economy and it is the main contribution to the GDP.
Due to this intensified competition, individual banks are re-appraising their business strategies and introduce several strategic options to survive profitably in this competitive arena (Anabila &Vitor, 2013). Customer Relationship Management is such initiative taken by most of service companies including banks. Past researches are proven the relationship between CRM and customer retention, but however it is not enough to introduce and launch CRM initiatives; the Banks needs to review their CRM policy in order to align modern perspectives.
The core objective of this research is;
The core objective is backed by following supplementary objectives.
- To understand the importance of the concept of Customer Relationship Management to the UK Banking customers?
- To identify the existing CRM strategies used by case bank and customers’ view and the satisfaction towards those strategies
- To understand the impact of those strategies on customer retention
- To identify the ways of improvements can be done in order to retain more customers
Even though several studies have been conducted around the world about the role of CRM in different perspectives, no proper study is directly discussed about the impact of Customer Relationship Management on Customer Retention. Importantly, even though several studies focused on different countries and different banks, there is no proper study has been conducted which is totally focused on UK Banking industry. Moreover, even though several studies conducted, none of them were critically appraise and evaluate the CRM strategies implemented by the bank with the purpose of redefining the CRM policy. Therefore this research has been conducted with the purpose of filling those gaps by using a case bank.
CRM or the Customer Relationship Management can be defined as the “process of the establishment, development, maintenance, and optimization of long term, mutually-valuable relationship between the customers and the organizations” (Popli & Rao, n.d.).
Similarly, Chen and Popovich (2003), also mentioned as CRM as a historical concept and further elaborated that the current development of IT has enhanced the practical relevance and importance of CRM. Further, the topics and events such as total quality management, growth of service sector, hyper competition and demanding nature of customers are also identified as the few nearest reasons for growing the importance of CRM. The concept of CRM has developed from the concept of Relationship Management (Chou et al, 2003) and the primary objective of any CRM strategy is maintaining and managing relationship with customers by keep satisfying them.
The Financial Institutions in the developed countries are using this marketing tool very effectively by taking full advantage of Information and Communication Technologies (Popli & Rao, n.d.). Popovich (2003) stated that viewing a CRM program only as a technology solution is the nearest reason for failure of most CRM system. Therefore this provides an opportunity to view the situation of CRM strategy of banks in broader perspective rather than in narrow perspective of technology solution Anabila & Vitor, 2013).
By definition customer retention is known as the activity a company undertakes to prevent customers from defecting to alternative companies or keep customers long lastly with the company. According to Kotler companies are not identified the importance of customer retention, thus the customers depend on companies due to unavailability of alternatives. But today, retaining customers are very important due to the competitive nature of the market. According Athanassopoulos (2000), attracting new customers which is five to six times more expensive than customer retention.
Effective CRM provide a better service than the customer expected service and finally customers are become highly satisfied or delighted. A satisfied customer is giving way to re-purchase and become loyal customers (Kocoglu & Kirmaci, 2012) and finally they retaining or continuing with the business. One major stimulus created by CRM is, it has changed the focus of marketing from the customer acquisition to retention (Winer, 2001).
Several studies have proven that the impact or the positive relationship of CRM on customer retention and loyalty. Especially it has a greater importance on service based organizations. According to Zineldin (1995), Relationship Marketing is becoming important in financial services. Gilberts Choi (2003) sated that if a particular bank develop and maintain positive relationship with its customers, the competitors cannot easily acquire them. Therefore several studies have been conducted by based on banking and financial sector.
- What is the importance of the concept of CRM to the customers?
- What are the existing CRM strategies used by case bank and customers’ view towards them
- What is the impact of those strategies on customer retention
- What are the improvements can be done in order to retain more customers
1.4 Research Specification
Research is conducted in steps of research objectives, literature review, methodology, survey questionnaire design, data collection, data analysis and conclusion.
Table 11 : Gantt chart
The researcher used interpretive research philosophy for this research. Since this research is conducted to find out the impact or the role of customer relationship management in customer retention in banking industry, the data is relatively related to human behavior and thus the interpretive research philosophy is the most appropriate research philosophy (Sunders, Luwies and Thronhill, 2009). Since the researcher tries to examine the current facts and concepts of CRM used by the Case Bank by starting from more general point of view, the selected approach is deductive approach
As mentioned by According to Sunders, Luwies and Thronhill (2009), the researcher used multiple research strategy in this research.
|Question 1||Question 2||Question 3||Question 4|
Figure 21 : Framework of Data Collection
Figure 22 : Conceptual Framework (Author’s Own Source)
H1 – There is an impact of CRM on customer retention
H0 – There is no impact of CRM on Customer retention
Figure 23: Data Collection Methods
Secondary Data Collection
The data were collected by referring to previous research papers and journal articles. The data collected to understand the general research background of the research
Primary Data Collection
The researcher collected data through conducting a survey research by selecting a case bank. Barclays Bank PLC is the identified as the Case Bank of this research in order to find out the impact of CRM on customer relationship in UK Banking sector. Due to the intensified competition in the market, Barclays Bank also implemented several CRM initiatives and keep trying to maintain profitable customer relationships.
Therefore, the sample size should be 399 as per the theory (Sunders, Luwies and Thronhill, 2009), the researcher take 50 as the sample size in order to have more accurate analysis.
Since this is more quantitative research, random sampling techniques will be more appropriate (Sunders, Luwies and Thronhill, 2009) and thus researcher selects the sample through simple random sampling technique.
I’m conducting this research as part of completing an academic requirement of my Higher Diploma. The purpose of the research is to investigate the impact of CRM on customer retention at Barclays Bank, UK. I am very much aware of the sensitivity of the information and hereby confirm and assure the responses and respondents will be kept anonymous. Your co-operation in this regards is highly appreciated and I thank you the support extended in this worthy course
Section A: Background Information
This section of the questioner refers to background or demographics of the customers. This will be helpful to have a better analysis to get cross group comparisons.
- Age (in years) 2. Highest Education Level
|Below 20 years|
|21 – 35 years|
|36 – 45 years|
|Above 40 years|
4. SEC segment
Section B: Subject specified Information –This section of the questioner explore the special details related to the survey
- Reasons behind being a customer of Barclays Bank (Rank)
- Reputation of the Bank
- Innovative products
- Habitually and the impact of family
- Convenient channels
- CRM initiatives taken
- How would you rate the importance of CRM for you
|Highly Important||Important||Neutral||Not Important||Never Important|
- Please mention most important CRM initiative for you
- On-time statements and proper updating
- Information about product benefits
- Information about more recent product promotions and new product launches
- Quality of the staff at counter
- Handling customer inquires
- Quality of e banking services
- Telephone banking
- Manager support
- Loyalty program
- Personalized attention and personalized service
Please rate following statements according to your experience.
|Very satisfied||Satisfied||Neutral||Dissatisfied||Very dissatisfied|
|Sent out reliably and on time|
|Easy to read and understand|
|Making reminders for customers|
|Sending and educate about product info|
|Clearly tell about the terms and conditions|
|Clear about eligibility|
|Can easily access to the relevant products|
|Regularly sending the promotional details|
|Information about product launches|
|Those information are relevant to me|
|It would never make a hassle for me|
|Friendly and courteous manner|
|Knowledge of bank’s products & Services|
|Willingness to listen and respond to your need|
|The Bank having Proper process for inquiries handling|
|The Bank gives valid solution for them|
|The time taken for the process is acceptable|
|Meantime, they are updating me the situation of inquiry.|
|The Bank offers a wide range of access points to the customers|
|Automated and electronic banking functions very well|
|It provide me greater convenience and confidence|
|Call handled promptly, not kept on hold|
|Courteous and professional manner|
|Quickly connected to the right person|
|Question or problem handled to your satisfaction|
|I can access to a higher level of Manager at any-time|
|They are more knowledgably and can satisfy with the immediate decisions taken by them|
|Friendly and courteous manner|
|I’m a member of Barclays Loyalty program|
|I’ m not a loyalty member of any other bank|
|It is not just a cards and I’m pound to have it|
|The offers are really value for me|
|I have been personally cared by the Bank|
|They have personal addressing and responding manners for me|
|Provide me a customized service|
|Being part, I’m getting personalized greeting from the Bank|
|They have customized offers, product details, service according to me|
- Please rate following statements according to your attitude and behavior
|Very satisfied||Satisfied||Neutral||Dissatisfied||Very dissatisfied|
|As a customer I would like banking with Barclays|
|I’m satisfying with the CRM strategies of the Bank|
|Barclays would be My preferred bank|
|I obviously select Barclays bank for my next banking products|
|I would not easily change my bank|
The Demographics of the respondents are as follows.
Figure 31 : Age of the customers
Figure33 : Gender of the respondents
Majority, 56% from the total sample is male while 44% of respondents are female.
Figure34 : SEC segment of the respondents
Objective 01: To understand the importance of the concept of Customer Relationship Management to the UK Banking customers
Figure35 : Reasons for Banking at Barclays Bank
Majority 58% of customers are mentioned reputation of the Bank is the main reason for select Barclays Bank followed by another 14% mentioned the quality of the service and CRM initiative is the main reason. Respectively another 10%, 8%, 6% mentioned as convenient channels, family impact and innovative products.
Figure36 : Importance of CRM to the respondents
According to the responses, majority, 64% of customers view CRM as very important while another 24% view it as important. However, 12% respondents have a neutral response and none of respondents view CRM as non-important factor.
Then the researcher collects information about importance of different factors or different CRM initiatives to the customers are the researcher asked about their 1st choice. Majority, 20% mentioned as customized service while another 14% mentioned handling customer inquiries and 12% prefer to have proper product details
Figure37 : Importance of CRM initiatives implemented by Barclays to its customers
Objective 02: To identify the existing CRM strategies used by case bank and customers’ view and the satisfaction towards those strategies
Then the researcher collects information regarding the customer experience at Barclays Bank about all above CRM strategies
- Proper updating and on-time statement
|On time and reliable||Accurate||Easy to read and understand||Making reminders for customers|
According to given responses, majority of customers are satisfied about updating and receiving on-time statements. Customers are satisfied about on-time and reliability of the statements, accuracy of the statements, and understandability of the statement and however, majority of customers have a neutral or dissatisfied experience about making reminders for them.
- Educate about product and services offered by the Bank
|Educate about details||Clear about T&C||Clear about eligibility||Can access easily to those products|
According to the details collected by the responses customers are highly satisfied about sending information regarding products and services offered by the Bank. But when considering the deeply, the bank is not sending proper details and thus therefore customers moderately satisfied on clear details provide regarding terms and eligibility. But however if they need to get that particular banking service they are immediately contactable and attend
- Sending promotional and seasonal offers
|Regularly details||Info: regarding Product launches||Those information are relevant to me||It would never make a hassle for me|
Considering the responses given, majority of customers getting details about seasonal and promotional product offers but however, they are not satisfied about the sending details on new product launches. Importantly they are dissatisfied about the relevancy of those details and according them, most of details sent are not relevant to them.
- Quality of staff at the counter
|Friendly and courteous||Knowledge of on P/S||listen and respond||Communication skills|
Respondents are highly satisfied about the service given by front line staffs, majority of them are highly satisfied aboutfriendliness and courtesy of them, knowledge about P/S, listening and responding behavior and communication skills of them.
- Handling customer inquires
|Proper process for inquiries handling||Validity of solutions||Acceptable time||Updating the situation of inquiry.|
Majority of customers are highly satisfied about the customer inquiry handling process of Barclays Bank, validity of the solutions given by them and the time period they take for that. However they are having a neutral response towards updating the situation of the inquiry
- Quality of banking channels
|range of access points||Automated and electronic banking||greater convenience and confidence||Time is no matter|
Customers of Barclays or respondents of the research are highly satisfied about the channel quality of the Bank and majority of the highly satisfied about wide range of access points provide, automated and electronic banking functions of the Bank and about the provided convenience of the channel network. Therefore they can access to their banking facilities at any time.
- Caring over the phone
|Not kept on hold||Courteous and professional manner||Quickly connected to the right person||Question or problem handled well|
Caring over the telephone is also a CRM strategy using by banks and however, majority of respondents are highly satisfied about the courtesy and professional manner and hand the way of handling the problems. But majority of them having a neutral respondent towards keeping hold them at the line and about the time taken to connect to the right person are therefore they have become dissatisfaction regarding that.
- Manager Support
|Access to a higher level of Manager||can satisfy with the immediate decisions||Friendly and courteous manner||Professional appearance|
Majority of respondents are highly satisfied about the friendly and courtesy nature of managers at the time they met and professional appearance of the managers. But however they have a neutral attitude toward accessing a higher level manager when they need and about the immediate decisions made by them.
- Barclays Loyalty Program
|Satisfaction on loyalty program||Satisfaction on other loyalty programs||More value than the normal card||Value for money|
|Mode||5||3||4 and 5||5|
The customers have a neutral attitude towards the loyalty program of Barclays Bank and majority of them have a neutral attitude having it. Basically that is because it also just has become another bank loyalty card in their valet and basically they are not getting offers and benefits which are more relent to them
- Personalized attention and service
|I have been personally cared by the Bank||Provide me a customized service||personalized greeting from the Bank||They have customized offers, product details|
According to the findings, customers are extremely dissatisfied about the personalized and customized nature of the service given by the Barclays Bank which should be the most important element of a CRM strategy. Majority of customers are dissatisfied about the personal caring at the Bank, customized service and also they are having a neutral to dis-satisfied attitude towards the personalized greeting from the bank and highly dissatisfied about not customizing the offers given to customer.
Objective 03: To understand the impact of those strategies on customer retention
|As a customer I would like banking with Barclays||3.48||4||4|
|I’m satisfying with the CRM strategies of the Bank||3.28||3||3|
|Barclays would be My preferred bank||3.84||4||4|
|I obviously selects Barclays for my next banking||3.14||3||4|
|I would not easily change my bank||3.4||3||3|
|Those initiatives make me retain with the bank||3.38||3||3|
Considering the above responses, majority of customers have a neutral attitude and behavior towards retaining with the Barclays Bank for longer period including natural attitude towards banking with Barclays, satisfaction towards existing CRM strategies, Barclays, as the most preferred bank, selecting the Bank for next banking facility.
Therefore, it clearly understood that customers have a neutral experience towards CRM strategies of the Bank and similarly neutral attitude towards customer retention
Further, the hypothesis mentioned at Chapter 05 can be tested as follows
|t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Unequal Variances|
|Hypothesized Mean Difference||0|
|t Critical one-tail||1.795884819|
|t Critical two-tail||2.20098516|
Since the T stat is smaller than t critical two tail value, the researcher is unable to reject H0.
Since P value is larger than Alpha (0.05), since H0 is not rejected. Therefore the research findings clearly shown that there is a relationship of CRM on customer retention
Objective 04: To identify the ways of improvements can be done in order to retain more customers
Referring to Table 01, The Barclays Bank needs improve the CRM strategies of the Bank in order to improve the customer retention. Especially Barclays Bank needs to pay special attention on revising loyalty program, ways to provide more personalized service and send proper product details to them. Details are given under recommendation section.
According to Kotler& Keller (2009) defined “CRM is the process of carefully managing detailed information about individual customers and all customer “touch points” to maximize customer loyalty. Considering a bank, the customer touch points will be the counter, door-step banking, ATM, telephone banking, online banking and few other ways (Markel, 2005). Further, Kotler and Keller (2009) mentioned that CRM will helps for companies to provide real-time customerservice through the effective and efficient use customer information. According to them, maximizing customervalue means cultivating long-term customer relationships to promote decision marketing
One the other hand, Kotler, Saunders and Armstrong (2005) defined CRM as consisting of sophisticated software and analytical tools that integrate customer information from all sources, analyze it in depth, and apply the results to build stronger customer relationship. According to them, CRM integrates everything that a company’s sales
However, Goldenberg (2000) believes that CRM is not merely technology applications for marketing, sales and service but rather when it is successfully implemented, it enables the firm to have a cross-functional, customer-driven, technology integrated business process management strategy that maximize relationships. Therefore in effective CRM, equal attention should be given to both marketing and information technology. Therefore many firms understand this strategic importance of CRM and understood this as a business value-effort rather than technology centric effort (Chin, Ding and Unithan, 2003)
Anabila&Vitor (2013) have conducted a survey research to understand the impact of CRM on customer retention. The study was conducted among 50 customers of Universal Bank by using a questionnaire and another 20 questionnaires were used to collect data from employees regarding the employees’ perspective of CRM of the case bank and the study finally identified the positive correlation between CRM and customer loyalty based on Universal Bank in Ghana.
The study which is conducted by Popli&Rao (n.d.) is also proved a positive relationship of CRM and customer retention by conducting a survey research related to Indian banking industry by using a questionnaire among 150 respondents.
Another study has been conducted by using questionnaire and structured interviews among 100 respondents to find-out customer views regarding the current CRM initiatives implemented by Halifax Bank, UK and the study also concluded as customers are willing to stay on the bank since they are satisfied with the current CRM initiatives taken by the Bank
After identifying the general research background through a secondary research by based on past research articles, the researcher conducted a primary research through a questionnaire. The questionnaire is attached in Annexure 01. Through the questionnaire, the researcher collected mainly quantitative data however some qualitative data also collected.
With reference to the research objectives mentioned, majority of customers considered CRM as highly important concept, however very few number of customers only banking with Barclays Bank due to service excellences and customer relationship management benefits given to customers. It clearly highlighted that the Barclays Bank is not in a very good position from service and CRM initiative and there is a need for improvement
Considering the analysis, majority customers have an overall neutral attitude and experience on CRM strategies implemented by the Barclays Bank
|Proper updating and on-time statement||4.18|
|Information about product benefits||4.08|
|Information on Product promotions||3.21|
|Quality of the staff at counter||4.8|
|Handling customer inquires||3.99|
|Quality of e banking channels||4.73|
|Personalized attention and service||2.045|
Further, it can be clearly identified that there are few CRM strategies which are really demanded by customers are neglected by the Bank. Those improvements will be discussing under recommendations. Even though the customers are expecting proper inquiry handling process, proper product details and customized and personalized service, the Bank is poor in sending proper product details, loyalty program and customized and personalized service
However since the H1 is accepted, the researcher finally found that CRM has an impact on customer retention by confirming the previous studies highlighted by the secondary research.
According to research findings, CRM is an important concept for customers and especially they expect customized and personalized service, handling customer inquiries, regular and proper information prominently. But according to the primary research conducted, customers or the respondents are mostly dissatisfied about customized and personalized service, regular and proper product information and loyalty program. However two out of three most dissatisfied factors are most expected factors by the customers. However, as similarly customers have a neutral experience about CRM strategies, they have a neutral attitude towards customer retention. However, through the hypothesis testing H0 has rejected and proven that there is an impact of CRM on customer retention
The study suggests for Barclays Bank to revise their CRM strategy with following recommendations in order to improve customer retention
- Revise the initiative of sending product details and send proper information about product features, terms and conditions, eligibility details and to customers
- Provide customized and personalized service to customers, personalized greetings and offer customized product offers
- Revise loyalty program
- Provide regular updates about customer inquires
- Smooth the procedures and provide customers opportunities for contact with higher level of managers
- Reduce the call waiting and holding time
Further research suggests for banks to pay considerable attention planning and implementing their CRM strategies since it has an impact on customer retention. Further, the researcher is recommending for Banks to carefully review and monitor their CRM strategy and periodically revise the CRM strategy.
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