Customer value and financial services distribution channels

Chakrabarty, Anita (2017) Customer value and financial services distribution channels. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This research effort seeks to investigate the co-creation of customer value in distribution channels of financial services as perceived by customers. In financial services, an in-depth investigation of customer value is necessary because of its recognised strategic imperative for competitive advantage (Woodruff, 1997). The Service Dominant Logic further demonstrates the importance of customer value as the basis of customers’ evaluations of products or service offerings (Vargo and Lusch, 2004). Customer value assessments are typically based on core services. However, core services are rapidly copied, diminishing prior competitive advantages. Hence, other sources of customer value and competitive advantage have to be considered. In light of this, distribution channels are considered resilient sources of value for the customer (Ballantyne and Varey, 2006). Specifically, this research seeks to empirically determine the type of value co-created through interactions in various distribution channels of financial services and the degree to which the various types of value vary, in distribution channel use.

The conceptual model developed for this study synthesises two perspectives of customer value. The first perspective is the unidimensional perspective, which posits that customer value is a trade off between perceived benefits and perceived sacrifices. The alternative perspective is the multidimensional perspective where customer value is multidimensional. Various types of value, functional or utilitarian as well as emotional and aesthetic value are offered in the extant literature. In financial services, dominant studies focus on adoption and non-adoption of financial services channels particularly innovative technological channels such as the internet channel and mobile channel. A study of the customer value of various channels in the multichannel context of financial services is relatively absent. Therefore, a two-step research design was utilised. First, an exploratory study was conducted to determine the different benefits and sacrifices perceived by customers when using the distribution channels. The first stage of the study incorporated an exploratory study of semi-structured interviews conducted on a sample of 22 respondents. The hypotheses developed for the study were based on the exploratory study and the extant literature of customer value and distribution channels. The second stage of the study was a survey of 300 respondents using a questionnaire, within the Klang Valley area. The data were collected and analysed using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and regression analysis as appropriate. The findings of the study show that both co-created functional value and emotional value perceptions exist in the distribution channel of financial services. Co-created functional and emotional value furthermore contributes to overall customer value perceptions. The study also finds that different benefit and sacrifice perceptions give rise to co-created functional and emotional value perceptions respectively. A comparison of the customer value perceptions of channels revealed that customers perceived functional value and emotional value in all channels, except the ATM/CDM/Cheque deposit channel. The in-branch channel is perceived to co-create a greater magnitude of emotional value. Adding to the extant literature, the findings demonstrate that distribution channels are an important source of customer value assessments. Furthermore, the findings lend support to the conceptual model, which posits various benefits and sacrifice perceptions existing in distribution channels of financial services lead to co-created perceived functional and emotional value or both simultaneously. From a managerial point of view, the findings of this study enable accurate identification of specific benefits and sacrifice perceptions in the various distribution channels of financial services to inform the development of strategies and tactics to enhance customer value of individual channels. Furthermore, the importance of emotional value in the in-branch channel lends support to the role of face to face interactions, careful recruitment and training of personnel to enhance the in-branch experience. The study also raises the importance of the consideration of service failures in services customer value assessments.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Devlin, James
Seow, Hsin Vonn
Keywords: customer value, financial services, distribution channels
Subjects: H Social sciences > HF Commerce
H Social sciences > HG Finance
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 35694
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2017 07:34
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 04:30

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