The advantage of relationship marketing strategies over discrete transactional activity is now widely recognized in banking and financial services markets. This has triggered research to identify the factors perceived by customers to be important in the development of ongoing relationships with front line staff. Sales personnel′s level of customer orientation, trust and ethical credibility has received much attention. Adds to previous research by analysing the role of gender in the development of buyer‐seller relationships. While there has been much research into gender differences in buyer behaviour on the one hand, and in sales effectiveness on the other, the combined effects of gender interaction have received little attention. Reports a survey of customers of financial advisers which compares dyads of gender‐defined buyer‐seller groups using constructs commonly found in both the relationship marketing and the social psychology literature. The results indicate that dyads do exhibit significant differences in terms of buyers′ perceptions of some aspects of relationship quality. However, the expected result that female sellers are perceived by buyers as showing more empathy and less selling orientation does not occur in a simple manner. The interaction with the gender of the buyer is important in determining perceptions of these aspects of relationship quality.
International Journal of Bank Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 1995
Keywords: Customer care; Financial services; Gender
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