Customer orientation in highly relational services

Javier Morales Mediano (Universidad Pontificia Comillas, ICADE, Madrid, Spain)
José L. Ruiz-Alba (University of Westminster, London, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 29 July 2019



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the antecedents, importance, and consequences of the customer orientation of service employees (COSE) in highly relational services (HRS). This study challenges the traditional vision of COSE and its sole focus on transactional services. The paper also examines and confirms new outcomes of COSE. Then, a revised COSE model adapted to HRS is proposed.


The private banking (PB) service is chosen to represent a HRS setting. The qualitative study is comprised of 25 semi-structured interviews with PB practitioners. The results are analysed using NVivo 11.


This study confirms the validity of the construct. COSE is proven to have notable importance in HRS. Various dimensions of COSE have different grades of importance. New consequences are elicited for HRS, including trust, loyalty and co-creation.

Practical implications

The results show that most PB firms do not have standardised processes in place to measure COSE. This study proves how COSE can be used for several purposes by practitioners as a means of customer relationship management and in co-creation strategies.


This study expands on the potential of the COSE construct by the use of HRS for the first time and introduces new consequences from the original COSE model.



Morales Mediano, J. and Ruiz-Alba, J.L. (2019), "Customer orientation in highly relational services", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 209-223.



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