Daniel Nukpezah; Cephas Nyumuyo , pp. 76. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2009.
Customer loyalty as a concept is a critical strategic option in today’s competitive environment. It is no surprise therefore that managers and researchers have increased their study and understanding of the concept as a strategic marketing imperative over the past decades to capture market share and improve profitability. Indeed the theoretical perspective is that competitive pricing as well as company image and reputation contribute to customer satisfaction and that service quality along a number of pathways drives customer loyalty and profitability thus: service quality--> customer satisfaction--> customer loyalty --> market share --> profitability. A few empirical studies have found these linkages to be true. However these factors differ in importance based on the cultural setting. We investigate (1) whether these relationships exist and (2) which of these factor(s) is/are important in motivating consumer loyalty from the perspectives of retail banking customers in Ghana.
The study draws on customer behaviour and attitude premised on the SERVQUAL and SERVPERF models originated by Parasuraman et al., (1988), Cronin and Taylor (1992), and Brady and Cronin (2001) respectively as well as other researches based on the literature on customer satisfaction and loyalty. We used both quantitative and qualitative research approaches in our study and have drawn from both primary and secondary sources of data. We made use of a 7 point likert scale to develop indexes for the main constructs measured in this study and applied correlation, chi square (χ2) and regression analyses to evaluate the hypothesised relationships. Further we qualitatively analysed aspects of the data hinging on explanatory aspects of our research. The results among other things reveal that whilst service quality (especially empathy and reliability) and bank image and reputation are important instigators of customer satisfaction and loyalty, competitive pricing showed a weak linear relationship with customer satisfaction and loyalty (r < 0.5). On the other hand, increased market share was found to influence banks’ profitability. Finally we discuss the management implications of the study in terms of customer retention and profitability strategies for the banks in Ghana. We emphasise that management strategies that are service quality conscious, use person-organisation fit approaches to recruitment and effectively communicate strategies could help institutionalise a culture that is customer relation centred, help banks survive the competition, retain their customers and in the long run increase their profitability.