Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Satisfaction and Loyalty of Banking Customers: A Gender Approach

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Satisfaction and Loyalty of Banking Customers: A Gender Approach

Article excerpt

Introduction

Customer satisfaction monitoring has become one of the priorities of current entrepreneurs regardless the sector they operate in. It is widely accepted that satisfied customers are the basis of a successful company. This issue is even more important in saturated markets with homogeneous products where clients can relatively easily change their provider in case they are not fully satisfied.

Compliance with the consumers' needs and requirements (Bilan, 2013), comprehensive customer care, and bank customer satisfaction are currently at the centre of attention of re-10.14254/2071789X.2015/8-1/14 searchers and bankers, as they represent important marketing variables for most of the companies, especially those working in more competitive markets (Munari, Ielasi, Bajetta, 2013; De Matos, Henrique, and De Rosa, 2013).

A satisfied customer is of great importance for the current and future performance of commercial banks (Belás and Gabcová, 2014). Koraus (2011) states that a satisfied customer remains loyal and to keep him a company requires five times less effort, time, and money than to get a new one. Such a client is willing to pay a higher price, and to get this customer to leave to a competitor would mean reducing the price of the product by 30% at equal product value. A satisfied customer represents a free form of advertisement and is inclined to purchase other products. This gives back to the bank employees a sense of satisfaction and pride in their work and business.

This traditional approach is based on the assumption that satisfied customers are less likely to switch their bank and are more willing to purchase additional products or services. However, various studies (Fraering and Minor, 2013; Murugiah and Akgam, 2015; Cohon, 2007; Zamazalová, 2008) did not confirm this relations and showed that even satisfied customers switch their bank if another one offers them a better product. There are two ways to explain these findings. The first is loyalty. Loyal clients have a more intense, emotionally based connection to their bank. Thus they are more resistant to competitor banksoffers even though these offers are of better technical parameters. The second way to explain the quitting of satisfied customers is that not only objective factors, e.g. conditions of products, price or distribution channels reliability determine their satisfaction but subjective emotions and experience are getting more and more important

Current theoretical research on the satisfaction and loyalty of bank customers examines the various attributes of this process. Our aim is to find out whether there are significant differences in the satisfaction and loyalty of bank customers between genders.

Theoretical background

Customer satisfaction is a complex process of various aspects, which operate in a coherent manner and form attitudes of customers towards a bank. In the process of forming customer satisfaction, the economic factors, emotional attitudes, and habits of consumers are acting. Service quality as perceived by bank customers could be defined as the extent of discrepancy between customersexpectations and their perceptions.

According to Chavan and Ahmad (2013), bank business depends very much on the quality of the customer service provided and overall satisfaction of customers.

Dimensions of service quality are employee behavior, tangibility, and information technology. Dimensions of service convenience are decision convenience, access convenience, transaction convenience, benefit convenience, and post-benefit convenience (Kaura, 2013)

Mandahachitara and Poolthang (2011) indicate that in terms of perception of service quality, the most important role belongs to a quality staff and reliability of services. Additional important factors are convenience and service availability. An important role in the relationship between a customer and a bank is trust and reliability.

Chavan and Ahmad (2013) have defined eight of the most important attributes of satisfaction: paying individual attention to each client, personnel behavior inducing customer trust, attractive bank equipment, zero fees for issuing checks, zero error records, the possibility of online banking, security of transactions, helpful staff, and readiness of staff to answer to customer requirements regardless of occupancy. …

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