Customer retention in retail financial services: an exploratory study

  • Jillian Farquhar

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This investigation is concerned with how financial services retailers approach the
retention of customers. Markets for financial services have become saturated,
competition has become fiercer and consumers have gained greater confidence in
the consumption of financial services. Traditional retailers of financial services
have begun to look to their existing customers to maintain and improve their
profitability in these turbulent times. They hope that by retaining selected
customers, they will be able to lower their costs by cross-selling financial
products. In spite of considerable practitioner interest in customer retention, to
date there is limited empirical study, in particular, into how retaining customers
might actually be achieved. This study adopts a pluralistic methodology and uses
the perceptions of staff working for financial services retailers to build a picture of
how retention is organised. Interviews with managers and two surveys are
conducted to gather the data, which are then evaluated within a framework of
contemporary marketing. The study finds that there are a number of aspects
involved in retaining customers that include information systems and strategy.
The results of the investigation also suggest that these retailers are organised
around the acquisition of customers and that balancing retention with acquisition
may prove challenging.
Date of Award2002
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Leicester
SupervisorJohnstone P (Supervisor) & R Brown (Supervisor)

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