Customer‐relationship levels – from spurious to true relationships

Customer‐relationship levels – from spurious to true relationships Relationship marketing (RM) has been widely accepted as an important determinant of long-term business success and is believed to be especially well suited for services because of the personal contact between customers and service providers. Past research has focused mainly on the advantages of RM for companies, while less attention has been paid to relationships from the customer's point of view. We suggest that relationships may be described as ranging from spurious to true, depending on customer-perceived relationship benefits, trust and commitment. A qualitative study of customer relationships was conducted in a car dealership, where profitability depends on customer commitment to both after-sales services and the car brand. Customer relationships were found to be more spurious than true. The study revealed that behavioural commitment to after-sales services was high, but that affective commitment was low to moderate. Customers were satisfied but did not perceive the services to be superior to the competitors' service offerings. They trusted authorised repair in general and did not feel that after-sales service would have more than a minor influence on their future car purchases. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Services Marketing Emerald Publishing

Customer‐relationship levels – from spurious to true relationships

Journal of Services Marketing, Volume 16 (7): 22 – Dec 1, 2002

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0887-6045
DOI
10.1108/08876040210447333
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Relationship marketing (RM) has been widely accepted as an important determinant of long-term business success and is believed to be especially well suited for services because of the personal contact between customers and service providers. Past research has focused mainly on the advantages of RM for companies, while less attention has been paid to relationships from the customer's point of view. We suggest that relationships may be described as ranging from spurious to true, depending on customer-perceived relationship benefits, trust and commitment. A qualitative study of customer relationships was conducted in a car dealership, where profitability depends on customer commitment to both after-sales services and the car brand. Customer relationships were found to be more spurious than true. The study revealed that behavioural commitment to after-sales services was high, but that affective commitment was low to moderate. Customers were satisfied but did not perceive the services to be superior to the competitors' service offerings. They trusted authorised repair in general and did not feel that after-sales service would have more than a minor influence on their future car purchases.

Journal

Journal of Services MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2002

Keywords: Customers; Trust; Commitment; Motor industry

References

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