Predictors of customer experience within retail banking in South Africa

Kala, Sacheen Udai
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ABSTRACT Purpose: The context of business, specifically banking, has fundamentally shifted in that customers are seeking not only basic product and service offerings, but value adding experiences throughout their engagements. Extensive literature in marketing describes this phenomenon; however there is a lack of empirical evidence relating to customer experience and its predictors in the South African retail banking industry. The primary objective of this research is to investigate the predictor effects of select independent variables, namely service quality, customer satisfaction, brand relationships and brand loyalty on customer experience. Design/Methodology/Approach: An empirical quantitative study was conducted, where banking customers‟ perceptions of service quality, customer satisfaction, brand relationships, brand loyalty and customer experience were assessed. The sample consisted of 151 retail banking customers, from across all major banks, in South Africa, including some smaller institutions. A regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationships between the presumed predictors and customer experience. Findings: The results have shown positive predictor effects on customer experience for three independent variables, namely, service quality, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. These findings suggest that quality services, satisfied customers and brand loyalty can be regarded as predictors of a customer‟s experience. The relationship between brand relationships and customer experience was not supported by the results. Implications: Banks should focus on delivering superior customer experiences through service quality and customer satisfaction. The net promoter score can be used to predict customer experience; however it is not the ultimate measure. This paper provides strategies to assist banks in South Africa to be more „customer-centric‟ and to design relevant experiences. Originality/Value: There is a lack of evidence in literature focusing exclusively on customer experience within retail banks in South Africa. This research is beneficial to both academia and business as it aims to unpack and understand the complexities around customer experience management.
MBA Thesis
Banks and banking -- Customer services -- South Africa. Customer relations -- Management. Consumer satisfaction -- South Africa.