Corporate customer loyalty within the banking sector: The case of SEB
Sammanfattning: Abstract Background: The financial sector is under constant development and the massive digitalization has changed the banking sector. The banking industry is nowadays characterized by self-service solutions and customers can solve their problems from everywhere and at any moment. The banking industry is highly competitive since all banks offer homogenous products and services that easily can be duplicated. Therefore it is of major importance for the banks to distinguish themselves from the other banks, offering the same products and services. The only way to distinguish oneself in today’s competitive environment is by either price or quality. Hence customer satisfaction, which leads to customer loyalty, can be seen as a potential tool to gain a strategic advantage in the highly competitive environment. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to examine marketing strategies for bank companies work in reaching corporate customer loyalty concerning digitalization, decision-making and service quality towards their corporate customers in the modern banking industry. Method: This thesis builds on primary sources in the form of semi-structured interviews. Three key persons carefully selected within SEB have been chosen to get an insight of how the bank works towards shaping long-term relationships and loyal customers. Respondents were chosen after their competence concerning corporate customer loyalty. Conclusion: The banking sector was examined and it showed to be highly homogenous and the products and services offered are basically the same. In that, three important conclusions were highlighted. First, there is a need for banks to distinguish oneself through high service quality, which will result in customer loyalty. The importance of being easy, credible and secure in order to keep existing customers and acquire new ones was fundamental. However being predictable and transparent in their reasoning is a necessity to shape a loyal clientele. Second, providing high service quality and reducing the gap between the customer expectations and delivered service will enhance the customer loyalty and also the bank’s profitability. Significant since it is cheaper to keep loyal customers than to acquire new ones. Third, as digitalization has changed the banking landscape, the future customers will consider themselves as loyal, but they will be loyal with more actors at the same time. This is due to the fact that competitors will only be a click away and that the digitalization will make it easier for customer to increase their probability by switching bank, as they will be offered more different available alternatives.
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