This study aims to investigate the effect of acquisition modes on customer behavioral loyalty to enrich our knowledge of the effectiveness of acquisition modes and how to better target customers in the service industry.Design/methodology/approachUsing a data set from a large commercial bank in China, this study conducts a series of empirical analyses to examine the impacts of two types of acquisition modes (i.e. the gift acquisition mode and customer referral) on customer behavioral loyalty.FindingsGift acquisition has a negative effect on customer behavioral loyalty, as measured by the dropout probability, consumption amount and consumption frequency. Furthermore, this negative relationship could be weakened if the customer is referred by an existing customer.Originality/valueAlthough prior studies have investigated the effectiveness of some acquisition modes in terms of customer loyalty, customer acquisition through the provision of gifts, which is widely implemented in marketing practice, has not been well investigated. This study addresses this research gap and identifies the joint influence of acquisition modes on customer behavioral loyalty, further enriching our knowledge of the effectiveness of different acquisition modes.
International Journal of Bank Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 3, 2021
Keywords: Customer loyalty; Customer relationship management (CRM); Service design; Credit card industry; Referral reward
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