Customer relationship management processes in the Nigerian retail banking sector

Abubakar, MT 2017, Customer relationship management processes in the Nigerian retail banking sector , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The acceptance and wide adoption of relationship management strategies stem from the strategic competitive advantage(s) associated with an excellent customer-bank relationship. Similarly, its acceptance by big organisations and its subsequent performance in those organisations from developed nations results in its proliferation to other parts of the world. Similarly, due to perceived novelty of Western-based business theories in other parts of the world, organisations in developing countries adopt relationship management strategies with less concern on how economic and systematic differences could affect their effectiveness. Although few studies have highlighted this challenge, however, they are largely conceptual. Recent studies argue for the need to explore the impact of external environment on relationship management in the retail-banking context in an environment where face-to-face interactions dominate the business interaction.

In an attempt to fill this gap, the researcher conducts a qualitative case study that draws on twenty-nine semi-structured interviews from three Nigerian banks. The researcher also reviewed banks' documents and secondary data on Nigeria/Sub-Saharan African banks based on the view that perception of relationship management by actors and implementers of the strategy affects its implementation, performance and success. Specifically, the research examines how managers perceive and implement customer relationship management, how external variables affect relationship development and management in the retail-banking sector, as well as how banks engage the use of technology in relationship management. The researcher uses within and cross-case analysis during data analysis. At data analysis stage, after initial pilot study, themes that emerged have been used to address the research questions.

In the end, the study argues that external environment, specifically institutional frames, affects the effectiveness of relationship management in non-Western culture. Specifically, the study shows that in a bottom of the pyramid market, interpersonal relationship influences the effectiveness of relationship marketing approach of a bank, as banks conceptualise interpersonal relationship as an important instrument in marketing to customers. Lack of strong institutions and vital infrastructure results in weak system-based-trust, and thus interpersonal trust influences relationship initiation and management strategy of the banks, as customers accord value to effective trust – trust at a personal level.

Further contribution shows how interpersonal relationship was supported by the presence of religious, racial and ethnic affiliation that encourage relationship development and management. Reflection of religious and ethnic affiliation through religious dress, religious greetings, language and tribal affiliation create identity relations and facilitate relationship initiation and development between boundary spanning elements and customers in the Nigerian retail-banking context. As weak system-based-trust affects bank-customer communication dimension, hence customer relationship management at the customer-facing level, the impact of interpersonal relationship and hence religious and ethnic affiliation in trust formation become strong. Thus, the study extends the impact of religion and ethnicity to non-Western context and the influence of religion and ethnic affiliation to conventional bank relationship literature.

Based on these findings, the study recommends developing strategies that will negate and reduce the cost effect of high present of face-face-face interaction in the Nigerian retail-banking context, such as using incentives to promote the use of technology-enabled service delivery channels that link customers directly with the bank. Promotion of such channels may reduce high dependent on interpersonal channels and strengthen the link between banks and their customers. Furthermore, the study recommends the development of policies that will reduce the effect of risk associated with technology-enabled channels usage and hence excellent customer bank relationship.

Consequently, the study recommends further study on the effectiveness of relationship marketing in mobile money (a form of banking method for retail customers in Sub-Saharan Africa), in relation to micro and small businesses that constitute significant percentage of retail banking customers in Nigeria.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Depositing User: MT Abubakar
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2018 14:00
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 13:26

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