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The more, the merrier? An exploratory study into managing channels in UK financial services

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Abstract:

The proliferation of channels in retail banking has provided customers with extensive choice of how they interact with their bank but has increased costs for banks. To lower these costs, banks have attempted to migrate customers away from expensive branch interactions to telephone or internet banking. In a competitive marketplace, in which customer switching is increasing, banks are keen to retain their customers and, at the same time, enlarge their customer base. Research into customer acquisition and retention has, as yet, only recently begun to consider them as part of a single marketing process, and this study sets to explore how multiple channel management relates to the both the acquisition and retention of customers. The data for the study were generated by means of semi-structured interviews conducted with a self-selected sample of senior bank staff in ten high street banks in the UK. Five themes of channel management have been generated from the data in this inductive study - customer grouping, interaction style, relationship & loyalty, structure, and service & satisfaction - from which a preliminary model of multiple channel management is proposed that supports strategies for acquiring and retaining customers.

Keywords: Multiple channels; customer acquisition and retention; retail financial services

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593960601132300

Affiliations: Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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