This empirical study of commercial banking relationships in France demonstrates that, despite the current emphasis on new technology, contact personnel remain important for the success of professional business‐to‐business services. When account managers are changed, the business clients feel that their relationship with the bank is weaker and they judge the bank to be less client oriented. More important for the bank’s future profitability is the finding that changing account managers is negatively associated with the bank’s external effectiveness, as measured by the client’s judgement of satisfaction and service quality, by their purchase intentions and by their willingness to recommend the bank. Also, the business clients who change account managers express a greater likelihood of switching banks. In addition, the study points out the divergence between the transactional sales approach of the bank and the relational perspective of the business client. Commercial banks tend to overestimate both the degree to which they are client oriented and the benefits of technology as a substitute for human interactions with their business clients.
Paulin, M., Ferguson, R.J. and Payaud, M. (2000), "Business effectiveness and professional service personnel Relational or transactional managers?", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 3/4, pp. 453-472. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560010311966
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