Marketing investigations on the concomitant variables of both service quality and relationship marketing are very scarce. Hence, the purpose of this study is to examine the customers’ perception of the Takaful (Islamic insurance) in relation to service quality and relationship marketing. More importantly, the examination of the impact of both service quality and relationship marketing on corporate image is further established. Accordingly, corporate reputation and customer loyalty were further evaluated, along with these respective interactions.Design/methodology/approachA self-administered survey was conducted from 350 Malaysian customers of Takaful products and services. The purposive sampling was used to collect data from the existing customers of Takaful service operators in the Klang Valley, an area in Malaysia. The questionnaire was constructed through measures of PAKSERV for service quality, as well as other measures related to relationship marketing and other constructs in this study. Structured equation modeling was used in the analysis of data.FindingsThe current study is the first one of its kind to examine perceptions of customers of relationship marketing and service quality as predictors of corporate image, which drives corporate reputation and ultimate customer loyalty from the perspective of the Takaful industry in Malaysia. Service quality dimensions (tangibility, reliability and personalization) and relationship marketing dimensions (Islamic ethical behavior and structural bond) positively influence corporate image of the Takaful organizations. Moreover, customer loyalty can be predicted, mainly through corporate reputation as well as corporate image.Research limitations/implicationsThe present study is focused on the existing Malaysian Takaful customers as the population frame. Accordingly, future research studies may evaluate the same model, but perhaps in another different cultural context where the Takaful industry can grow and expand in other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Pakistan. More importantly, the same variables may be verified to different service industries in future studies, especially those constructs related to relationship marketing because many products and services at present can be attained without face-to-face interactions through online transactions without having brick and mortar businesses.Practical implicationsIt is important for Takaful service operators to focus on connecting the social and financial bonds to ensure the fulfilment of customers’ needs. They also need to improve the qualities related to tangibility, reliability and personalization to be able to increase their market share, especially in this present highly competitive market. Indeed, Takaful generally provides financial protection and risk management; nevertheless, the religious and ethical values need to be embraced in totality unlike conventional insurance, which has the element of gambling, uncertainty and the imposition of interest. Hence, this study aims to assist the Takaful operators toward achieving corporate reputation and apparently customer loyalty for them to remain relevant in this industry.Originality/valueThe model used in this study is based on the cultural context of Malaysia from the perspective of the Takaful industry. It attempts to explain customer loyalty through the incorporation of service quality and relationship marketing dimensions, where it is associated with the elements of the values of Islamic ethics especially in business transactions. More importantly, these dimensions were put together to identify its impact on corporate image, corporate reputation, and ultimately, customer loyalty, thus illustrating a distinct set of outcomes of the present study.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 21, 2020
Keywords: Takaful customers; PAKSERV; Relationship marketing; Corporate image; Corporate reputation; Customer loyalty
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