Antecedents and outcomes of customer loyalty in the financial services industry
In our fast-paced, digitally overloaded marketing environment, consumers are continuously presented with alternatives to their current companies, brands, salesperson, or service provider of choice. Staying afloat in this type of environment has caused the idea of customer loyalty to become increasingly important to the sustainability of all businesses, particularly those in the financial services industry. Firms are challenged with finding creative ways of retaining customers, while demonstrating their uniqueness and value. In addition, the past 2 years have materialized into a time of turmoil within several U.S. economic markets, including the banking industry, the real estate market, and the credit market, signifying an economic recession. There exists a growing concern surrounding the behavior of financial firms and their employees. Low consumer confidence, client turnover, and negative press have all contributed to this problem, forcing companies to focus their attention on providing the best overall consumer experience. Today's consumers are looking for firms that can provide guidance, while catering to their individual needs, providing additional incentives, and assurances that they will have access to necessary resources to achieve financial stability. ^ The purpose of this research was to extend business-to-consumer literature by examining how customer loyalty is developed and investigate its outcomes emphasizing specific implications to the financial services industry. In addition a conceptual framework of customer loyalty was presented, detailing three categories of antecedents and two categories of outcomes. The results of the research show that loyalty to the financial planner produce high levels of switching costs, which translates to positive word-of-mouth and willingness to provide feedback, thus providing insight into what appears to be a positive overall customer experience. Greater levels of economic satisfaction and trust between the customer and the financial planner and the customer and the firm, result in the achievement of higher levels of customer loyalty with each exchange partner.^
Brian N. Rutherford, Purdue University.
Business Administration, Marketing