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The financial services environment has been subject to changes on many fronts. Technological change and advent of the internet are among the most dramatic and challenging areas of change for the sector. It has been predicted by research that the use of internet for retail banking would be nearly universal by 2011. There is a need for the banks today to build relationships with their customers in order to retain them for a life time. One of the most significant developments in retail banking in recent years has been the development of new distribution channels made possible by technological innovation. E-banking facilities have rapidly been established by the major banking organizations all over the world, both as stand alone operations and as an integrated part of an established banking service.

Bank marketing in recent years has seen the use of technology in creating new channels through which customers can transact their accounts and interact with the bank. The literature shows how banking has developed rapidly and become a mainstream channel, but concerns have been raised about the ability of banks to manage customer relationships effectively through this channel.

The paper uses a series of focus group-discussion groups to examine the circumstances under which consumers of financial services perceive a benefit from having a banking relationship. Specifically, it attempts to understand what motivates consumers to form relationship with banks and to what extent this is determined by the decision making environment. To achieve this objective the paper draws upon the interaction and relationship marketing literature and examines banker-customer interactions when purchasing a range of financial services. The importance of the paper stems from the fact that it sheds light on the interaction mode and increased customer participation and, therefore, examines the opportunities for marketing, enhancing quality and improving customer retention.

The technique of Focus Group discussion probes into the mind of the customer and brings out his real likes and dislikes. The Focus group discussion was held in New Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon to find out what the customer wants from his relationship with the bank. The discussion was commanded by a moderator and an interpreter, the findings of which are presented in this paper.


Banker-Customer Interactions, Banking Relationships, Loyalty, Trust, Focus Group Discussion.
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