Customer tradeoffs between key determinants of SME banking loyalty

Regan Lam*, Suzan Burton, Hing Po Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to demonstrate a method for estimating the tradeoffs that banking customers make between different attributes of a service, thus allowing businesses to estimate the likely impact on customer loyalty of changes in different attributes of a service. Design/methodology/approach - The data were collected using a mail survey that was sent to small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) decision makers in Hong Kong. The data were then analyzed using a choice modeling approach in the form of ordinal logistic regression. Findings - Both affective components, such as relational bonds, and cognitive components, such as perceived service quality, are shown to influence customers' switching behavior. The specific tradeoffs that customers make between these attributes are also estimated. Research limitations/implications - This study is the first to quantify the effect of different variables on SME customer loyalty in a largely disloyal services sector. The study also demonstrates and quantifies the tradeoffs that customers make between various cognitive and affective attributes. Practical implications - The tradeoff analysis shows how improvement in one attribute can have an impact that is equivalent to a change in another attribute. This provides additional strategic options for financial services marketers to cost-effectively achieve a higher level of loyalty. Originality/value - The study is the first to show how choice modeling can be used to calculate the tradeoffs that customers make in their purchase decisions, thereby providing financial services marketers with an effective way to estimate the impact of alternative strategies on customer loyalty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-445
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Bank Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Banking
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer relations
  • Hong Kong
  • Pricing


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