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Purpose – This study explores how system trust affects customer relationships management in the Nigerian retail-banking context, a country with weak institutions and infrastructure. Design/methodology/approach – this is an exploratory study based on qualitative research using semi-structured interviews with 27 managers, and a review of documents on the Nigerian retail banking system. Findings – The major findings of the study is that weak system trust - due to the weak legal framework, low literacy level and ineffective policing, has an influence on technology-dominated relationship marketing and reinforces interpersonal trust in the Nigerian retail banking context. Practical implication- the findings are significant to research and practice concerning how system trust affects the relationship management strategy of retail banks in the Sub-Saharan African market, and how banks mitigate the effect of system trust through staffs’ interpersonal trust-building effort. Originality/value – This study is among the very few studies that link CRM implementation and system trust in the retail banking context that operate in the Sub-Saharan African market.
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