Online customer experience and its management as a competitive advantage in the Finnish banking sector
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Marketing, Marketing
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201906052380
Oulu : A. Mulari,
|Publish Date:|| 2019-06-11
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
The purpose of this research is to get an understanding of online customer experiences and their management in the Finnish banking sector. The topic is seen as highly relevant for a myriad of reasons — not only is it of great interest to the writer personally, but it is also a complex phenomenon that lacks empirical support.
Nowadays, economic pressures, increasing consumer demands and new technologies all have their influence on companies. The overall goal is to not only attract customers, but also to make them happy. It is evident that customer experiences and their management have become more important than ever before. Sustainable competitive advantage can no longer be achieved by focusing on traditional elements like price or quality, and that’s where customer experiences come in.
Creating strong customer experiences is seen as a leading management objective across sectors, however, so far there’s only little progress made in explaining how firms can manage the complete customer experience. In order to deepen this understanding, this study aims to respond to the main research question of how customer experiences are managed in an online context in the Finnish banking sector.
The framework of this study is built upon previous research studies and frameworks, which combines the crucial elements of holistic online customer experience management — the antecedents, touch points, follow-up and outcomes of online customer experience. Online customer experience management is seen as a continuous process that influences all four main components.
This study is conducted as a qualitative research and more specifically, as a case study. The objective was to understand the research problem in new ways and specifically answer to the question ‘how’. The data was collected through four semi-structured interviews in the same company. This was considered a comprehensive amount of data for master’s thesis purposes.
The findings of this research indicate that online customer experience management and a high level of customer-centricity is very much evident in the Finnish banking sector. With regards to the different elements of the total online customer experience management, there are also other components that act as contributors apart from the theoretical framework presented. Customer’s attitude and the brand’s image were strongly associated as antecedents, and regarding the outcomes, in addition to the ‘soft’ outcomes, it was obvious that successful online customer management also leads to increased sales and growth.
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