Much research looks at why customers switch service organizations but there has been less focus on why customers do not switch service organizations, even though they have seriously considered doing so. In light of this, we present an analysis of the literature and develop a list of potential switching barriers. These switching barriers are then empirically tested within two financial services industries. Results from over 400 consumers enable us to ascertain not only the importance of each switching barrier but also to develop a more parsimonious understanding of these barriers, through factor analysis. The results reveal similar patterns in the two industries in respect to switching barriers. The first of the four factors contains reasons related to apathy, the second factor contains negative reasons for customers staying with their current service provider, the third factor relates to relationship variables and the final factor relates to service recovery. Results clearly indicate that the first two factors are far more important than the latter two in terms of why customers stay even when they seriously considered leaving.
Journal of Consumer Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2001
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Services marketing; Barriers; Financial services