Relationship Marketing Strategy as a Source of Competitive Advantage in the Ghanaian Banking Industry: A Case Study of Ghana Commercial Bank Limited

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In today’s high competitive and globalized banking environment, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty for their retention and gain competitive advantage as a result, emerges as the most important challenges faced by marketers. Cultivating satisfied and loyal customers is frequently argued to be the most important driver of organizations’ long-term financial performance, which can lead to increased sales and customer share, lower cost, and higher profit. Therefore marketing scholars emphasize the influence of relationship marketing as a strategically important tool from which customer satisfaction and loyalty can be secured and, as a result, the attainment of higher competitive advantage. The purpose of this study was to explore relationship marketing strategy as a source of competitive advantage in the Ghanaian banking industry using Ghana Commercial Bank as a case study. The study also aimed to investigate the influence relationship marketing strategy has on customer satisfaction and loyalty and in turn on competitive advantage. The study was carried out in 2013 on a convenience sample of sixty Ghana Commercial Bank customers and six bank officials. Structured questionnaires and interview guides were administered to bank customers and bank officials respectfully, on a face to face interview in three selected branches of the bank in the Ashanti Region. The data were analyzed to determine the key dimensions of relationship marketing strategies. Findings indicated that trust, commitment, communication, satisfaction, quality, loyalty and complaint handling are key dimensions of relationship marketing strategy construct. The findings from this exploratory study contributed to understanding the relationships between different variable dimensions of relationship marketing strategy, and provide critical implications for bank managers, and highlight directions for future research.
A thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an award of Commonwealth Executive Masters degree in Business Administration.