Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

The Main Antecedent of Customer Loyalty in Moroccan Banking Sector

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

The Main Antecedent of Customer Loyalty in Moroccan Banking Sector

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the contemporary milieu, customer loyalty poses one of the most important dilemmas that confront the Moroccan banking sector. Knowing that the loyal customers are the most important asset to a bank, business managers need to develop marketing strategies that promote and maintain growth in their numbers. Keeping a large base of loyal customers intact gives a competitive advantage to any business. Attracting new customers costs much as six times more than keeping the current ones (Rosenberg and Czepiel, 1984). Customer loyalty would be very significant for banks. It indicates the degree to which their clients would maintain a long term relationship with them (Fullerton, 2003) and it has the capacity to strengthen this association. In fact, it is the most enduring asset for a company (Pan and Tian, 2008). A loyal customer generally behaves better than a satisfied one and prefers to repurchase the products and services continuously to an extent that her patronage is retained for a long period of time. Reichheld and Sasser (1990) stated that a growth of 5 percent in customer retention can result in an increase in profitability of between 25 and 85 percent depending on the type of the industry. The Moroccan banks that promote and maintain good customer loyalty would be able to enhance their position in the international banking marketplace and augment their market share in this sphere. Customer loyalty would therefore constitute a competitive advantage. It can be achieved through marketing efforts (Dick and Basu, 1994) and can further be utilized as publicity to attract new customers. Loyal customers would tend to recommend the bank to their friends and relatives. Reichheld (1996) argued that an increase in customer loyalty generates a high net present value for companies. Therefore, the aim of this empirical research paper is to examine the major drivers of customer loyalty in the Moroccan banking sector.

This research paper has been organized as follows: first, literature is reviewed. The definitions of the antecedents are presented in this section. Second, a theoretical framework is proposed with different hypotheses. In the third section, research methodology is described including data collection, sampling methods and measurements. In the fourth section, the results are presented and interpreted. Finally, the concluding comments are made.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Oliver (1997) defined customer loyalty as a profound devotion to regularly repurchase of a favored product or service. He also stated that the customer would maintain her behavior despite strong marketing efforts from alternative companies. The competitors are then efficiently defeated. This explanation underscores the view that customer loyalty is a behavior response to the environment. Furthermore, for Jacoby and Chestnut (1978), customer loyalty is a prejudiced psychological manner exhibited recurrently as a commitment response whilst Healy (2007) points out that it is an important attitude that favors good marketing relationships and a person's repeat patronage (Dick and Basu, 1994),

Satisfaction is essentially an overall assessment of the customer's experience with a product or service (Sindhav et al., 2006). Moreover, it is 'sense that consumption provides outcomes against a standard of pleasure versus displeasure' (Oliver, 1999). Therefore, satisfaction is related to a psychological attitude felt during the customer's consumption. In its relationship with customer loyalty, it affects positively the buying intention as well as the actual future behavior (Bloemer and Lemmink, 1992). If the customer's needs are satisfied, he would have the intention to repurchase again in the future (Kotler, 1977; Keith, 1960). Myron (2005) asserted that customer satisfaction is a predictor of loyalty. Anderson and Sullivan (1993) also showed that customer loyalty is the chief consequence of customer satisfaction. Frequent or cumulative satisfaction is therefore mandatory for affecting loyalty, since it aggregates or blends individual satisfaction episodes (Oliver, 1999). …

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