This study considers how relationship marketing is manifest in actual interactions between buyers and sellers involved in on-going relationships with varying degrees of relationship quality. Seven buyer–seller, interaction encounters were observed, audiotaped, and analyzed. Before observing the encounters, however, in-depth interviews were conducted with the buyers to determine their perceived quality of the relationships within which the interactions would occur. Qualitative and empirically based evidence suggest systematic, behavioral differences across the interactions. Specifically, the results suggest that relatively higher-quality relationships tend to exhibit more friendliness, less question asking, disagreement, and compliance behavior as compared with lower-quality relationships. Buyers in lower-quality relationships tend to dominate the interaction by disagreeing and talking a larger percentage of the time relative to buyers in higher-quality relationships. As the quality of the relationship increases, however, buyers disagree less and allow sellers more latitude in time spent talking.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 1999
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