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  • Background to the Study

To a great extent large volume of published academic articles over the past years on marketing, relationship management and related fields have shown the explosions of interest in Relationship Management (RM). Even though, with much practitioner-oriented material there still remain lack of agreement on what exactly is RM, its relevance and use in practical terms.

Relationship Management (RM) evolved from marketing with the objective of satisfying customers with products and services through exchange processes better than competitors (Anderson andMittal, 2000). Thus RM is used to define the process of creation and maintaining relationship with business customers.

The key to success for any organization and any commercial economy activity, is the customer, the practice and principles of customer orientation, customer satisfaction, attraction of new customers and retaining old customers are the main issues in organizational success, while in contrast, the neglect of these results in an exit from competitive market.

The objective of RM is to ensure that the customer return back for subsequent purchase after the first purchase, through communication, friendliness, good offer to the customer at the right price and through appropriate channel of distribution (Mornay as cited in Akintunde and Akaighe, 2016). Anderson and Narus (as cited in Akintunde and Akaighe, 2016) stated that, RM is not just about exchange process between buyer and seller but that, marketer should be able to understand customer’s preferences, intentions, needs and provide the products and services that satisfies the customer’s expectation. The determinants of Relationship Management variables are many, however, few like trust, communication and commitment are consider as measuring strategies for customers’ satisfaction at banking sector

Trust is defined as belief or conviction about the other party’s intentions in a relationship, it is a dynamic process that must be built over time, since banking sector are poise for huge success, trust in the context of relationship marketing is relatively essential. Trust is taken as the dimension of a business relationship that determines the level to which party feels they can rely on the integrity of the promise offered by the other party. (Chattananon and Trimetssoorn, as cited in Adeyeye, 2013), Trust as a key component of customer relationships, and which management approach to is of academic and practical significance. Though, various approaches have been adopted to accelerate building trust, however, literatures proved that it is more difficult, because of the lack of understanding about the relationship between trust, its antecedents and consequences. Usually, it’s somehow difficult to analyze trust as a phenomenon also impossible to determine it in the context of Quick Services Business Trust is recognized as important variable that influenced customers’ satisfaction, hence, as component of RM is an effective business strategy of satisfying customers, aimed to maximize the customers’ long-term value. Thus it is considered as potentially coexisting mechanism for decreasing the uncertainty, anxiety and complexity of transactions and relationship in the fast financial industry

Communication is “the consumer’s perception of the extent which an organization relate with its regular customers in a warm and personal way.” This interaction always reflects in the feelings of familiarity, friendship and personal knowledge. Communication includes marketing automation, email campaigns and the advertisement that gives the brand a voice. Communication as an activity of RM is a value proposition that satisfy customers, and customers relied more on interactions.

Commitment is a state of being dedicated to a cause, is an obligation that restrict freedom of action. Commitment is defined as resistance to change, a psychological state generated by individual’s beliefs, emotions and perceptions that provoke the willingness in developing and maintaining a stable relationship. The successful relationship between parties, (customers and organizations) are built on the basis of mutual commitment. Therefore, extending the notion of commitment to the context of fast financial industry is an essential construct contributing to successful long-term relationships between customers and operators. Customer commitment is a critical factor in banking sector business, since it helps to deliver customer value and thus enhance satisfaction.

Given the dynamic nature of business environment, firms are beginning to direct greater efforts towards business practices that maintain a core of loyal and lucrative customers that tend to be more beneficial (Muller-Lankenau et al., 2006). Recently, many organizations turned to Relationship Management (RM) to seek greater understanding of their customers’ needs and expectations, to better manage their customer care. Customer relationship management, a concept associated with the use of technologies in managing relationships to assist in dealing with customers. (Rigby, et al., 2002; Ryals, 2000). A business environment where marketing of services is becoming more challenging, it requires organizations to strive more than ever to retain their customers through a more integrated and quality of services delivery and well planned marketing strategies (Eisingerichand Bell, 2006).

Categorically, it is stated that the important assets of business including fast financial industry are their customers. They are the valuable sources for opportunities and threats in respective business especially the fast financial industry. Business allocated a substantial of their resources towards achieving customers’ satisfaction as organizational goals. Considering the importance of customer satisfaction in expanding the market share, businesses look into RM as a tool to achieve customers’ satisfaction. RM is considered as business strategies of many businesses, they believed that maintaining stable relationship with customer keep them sustaining in the competitive market.

The growth of fast financial industry is playing an important role in the economy of Nigeria, and has been identified as one of the businesses that continues to promise greater return on investment, notwithstanding, the presence of economic, social and political dilemma in the country (Mustapha, FakokundeandAwolusi, 2014). Hence, the growth of fast financial industry is important in the economy, and as a fundamental service sector, whose internationalization and trend in the global market should be a concern in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

The Nigeria fast financial industry has been witnessing rapid growth, positive development with massive investments. The market growth is as a result of rising young population, increased working career women, hectic schedules of middle-class and household disposable income; this is because of the unique properties of Banking sector, such as (i) Quick Serve and (ii) Cost Advantage, are making it highly popular among the masses.

Thus, Nigerian market offers enormous opportunities for both domestic and international investors in fast financial business. Ali et al., (as cited in Bhagat, 2016) found that improving customer relationship could provide an edge for fast financial retailers, provided they are able to manage and formulate marketing strategies and practices that facilitate greater customer’s satisfaction.

In view of the above, the present study is being carried out to know, within the Nigeria Fast Financial Industry, how well are firms in the sector can apply the rudiments and key assumption of RM towards increasing customer’s satisfaction with keen interest on First Bank Nigeria Plc, Nigeria.

  • Statement of the Problem

With the upsurge in the setting up of banking sector retaining customers becomes an issue, particularly when factors such asTrust, Quality and Safety are important customer concerns. The ability to satisfy customers remains one of the greatest tasks for any firm to achieve, as customer needs and expectations are changing at all time. The fast financial industry in Nigeria is poised for huge growth, and increasing its contribution to the economy.

However, some of the RM initiatives fail to achieve desired results, because firms relied too much on technology advancement to boost development of RM. Crosby (as cited in Law, Wong, and Lau, 2005) stated that the RM implementation is about customer’s relationships aims at reducing costs and putting more responsibility on the customer for self-service. Customers’ satisfaction in today’s business world is very important, because this is the secret of survival for companies in the competitive market. However, technical solutions shouldn’t be the only best way to resolve customer problems or achieving customer satisfaction.

The implementation of an effective RM that will help enterprise achieve its goal is easy to establish or actualize, but this always come with various attendant challenges, thus RM implementation and actualization is a function of the synergy with other business functions, which is why is being difficult to accurately measure how effective the strategy of firm is at a point in time. RM is not just the responsibility of the marketing department or customer services department, it is a fundamental business strategy carried out within the whole organization, covering different business functions.

Findings regarding this attracted numerous opinions from different scholars among the academics and the practitioners in the business world. Some of the goals of scholar centered on providing answers to a lot of contextual issues regarding its attendant effects on customer satisfaction within different business landscape.

Therefore, this research work, aim to investigate the Effects of Relationship Management (RM) on Customer’s Satisfaction at Banking sector in Nigeria.

The study, also seek to further establish concrete findings similar to those already carried out in the past, but from a different and scarcely debated fast financial industry in Nigeria.

  • Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the Effects of Relationship Management (RM) on Customer’s Satisfaction in the Fast Financial Industry in Nigeria. Specifically, emphasizing the use of trust in the study to achieve the following objectives with respect to First Bank Nigeria Plc, Nigeria

  1. To determine the effects of customers contact management on customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc.
  2. To examine the extent to which customers reward programs influence customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc
  3. To evaluate the effects customers call centre on customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc.
  4. To examine the effects of customers feedback management on customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc.
  • Research Questions

Based on the objectives enumerated above and acknowledgement of the existing economic, social and political characteristics of the country, Nigeria, this research attempt to address the following research questions:

  1. What are the effects of customers contact management influence on customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc?
  2. To what extent does customers reward programs influence the satisfaction of customers of First Bank Nigeria Plc?
  3. To examine the effect of customers call centre on consumer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc?
  4. To assess the effects of customers feedback management on customers satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc?

1.5      Research Hypotheses

In an attempt to determine the extent of the cause effect relationships, the following research hypotheses are pertinent.

HO:     Customers contact management does not significantly influence customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc.

Ho:     Customers reward programs do not significantly influence the satisfaction of customers of First Bank Nigeria Plc.

Ho:     Customers call centre does not significantly influence consumer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc.

Ho:     Customer’s feedback management does not significantly influence customer’s satisfaction in First Bank Nigeria Plc.

 1.6      Significance of the Study

RM is an important business approach, because it enhances the company’s ability to achieve the ultimate goal of retaining profitable customers and gain competitive advantage over its competitors. RM focuses on establishing long-term and sustainable customer relationships that add value for both customer and the company. This is known as a process of integrating company staff’s knowledge and their customers in an attempt to remember their requirements, behaviours, tastes and preferences in a usual business process.

This research work examines the effects of Relationship Management (RM) on customer’s satisfaction at banking sector, because customers are viewed as important elements of organizational performance and long-term business survival.

Therefore, this research will definitely contribute to the body of knowledge, because it will serve as a source of reference to further researches and better the understanding of RM to customer’s satisfaction on service delivery. The outcome of this research will contribute to the understanding of fast financial industry operators, policy makers, as well as the owners and managers of the selected outlets for the study, to know their customer perception and expectation about RM strategies and practices, and make adjustment in areas where necessary, in order to have competitive advantage in the industry

1.7      Scope of the Study

The study examines the effects of relationship management (rm) on customer’s satisfaction: an evaluation of first bank Nigeria plc. This research scope covers one of the major fast financial operators in Nigeria. First Bank Nigeria Plc, would be used as case study, hence, the research participants will be selected among the staff and customers of the selected fast financial business/brand.

The study would be confined to fast financial joints in Lagos only because of the difficulty of reaching a wide range of possible respondents outside Lagos State, as well as the need to retrieve substantive percentage of the instrument that would be administer.

In consideration of the limitation above, the study endeavour to ensure quality representativeness of all that matters to the objective of the study for the purpose of generalization of the research findings.

1.8      Study Outline

The study would be presented in five (5) chapters: Chapter one, introduction consists of the background to the study, statement of research problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study and scope as well as definition of concepts.

The chapter two, literature review, reviews relevant literature to the study, chapter three, methodology, describes data collection, survey design, study population, reliability, research instrument, sample and sampling procedure and data analysis. Chapter four, results and presentation of findings, presents the statistical analysis of the data. Chapter five, summary and conclusions, includes a summary of the study, interpretation of the findings, conclusions and recommendation for future research.

1.9       Definition of Terms

Competitive Advantage: Strength to be more proficient than other rivals/competitors

Customers Call Centre: This is strategy with which firms seek to relate and retain its customers by establishing call management centres where customers are easily communicated with and also where complaints are handle.

Customer Contact Management: This refers to the design and management of the various means with which a firm communicate with its existing and potential customers.

Customer Orientation: Employees natural tendency towards customer needs.

Customer’s Relationship Management: Relationship Management includes various strategies and techniques to maintain healthy relationship with the organization’s existing as well as potential customers.

Customer Reward Management: This is how firm ensures that its existing and potential customers are retained through reward programs

Customer’s Satisfaction: This is a measure of how products and services supplied meet or surpass customer desire and expectation. It is defined as “the number of customers, or percentage of total customers whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services rating exceed specified satisfaction goals.

Exchange process: Acts of giving and receiving in consideration for something or value.

Internationalization: Having the firm’s operations in two or more nations.

Trust:Mutual acceptance and openness to express feelings.

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