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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Pavleen Soni

Given the importance of relationship benefits in creating customer satisfaction, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating role of relationship benefits

Abstract

Purpose

Given the importance of relationship benefits in creating customer satisfaction, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating role of relationship benefits (special treatment benefits and confidence benefits) on relationship quality and word of mouth (WOM) for online retailers. The conditional mediating role of relationship quality between customer satisfaction and WOM is also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 700 MBA students from two universities in Punjab (North India) has been used to collect data. Structural equation modelling and PROCESS Macro (Hayes (2017) have been used for data analysis (mod mod mediation).

Findings

When customers perceive high confidence benefits, special treatment benefits moderate the mediational role of relationship quality between customer satisfaction and WOM. Specific conditions under which use of confidence benefits and special treatment benefits are successful for online retailers have also been identified.

Practical implications

Tailored use of special treatment benefits with confidence benefits in appropriate combinations will help the online retailers in segmenting the customers and differentiating amongst them according to the customers’ receptivity towards these benefits. Marketers can devise communication strategies, create customer segments and position their services using the results obtained in the study.

Originality/value

The present study is the first of its kind which clarifies as to why the previous literature considered special treatment benefits as less relevant to customers. It also establishes the situations in which these benefits successfully moderate the effect of customer satisfaction in developing relationship quality and eliciting positive WOM in the Indian internet retailing context.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2019

Erifili Papista and Sergios Dimitriadis

The study aims to develop and test a relationship-building model for green brands. It synthesizes findings on the consumer motives offered by green brands, with…

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2854

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to develop and test a relationship-building model for green brands. It synthesizes findings on the consumer motives offered by green brands, with relationship marketing and branding literature to the specific context of green brands to build a parsimonious model testing the links amongst four relational benefits, i.e. confidence, socialization, self-expression and altruism; two relational mediators, i.e. satisfaction and relationship quality; three behavioural outcomes, i.e. word-of-mouth, expectation of continuity and cross-buying; and two moderators of the benefits-mediators relationship, i.e. environmental consciousness and relationship length.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected from consumers of three brands of natural cosmetic products, totalling 848 questionnaires. Structural equation modelling is used to test the hypothesized relationships across the three brands.

Findings

The results show that confidence benefit has the strongest influence on relationship quality, followed by self-expression and altruism. Relationships quality and satisfaction with the green brand have a significant impact on all three behavioural outcomes. Both environmental consciousness and length of the relationship moderate the hypothesized interrelationships.

Research limitations/implications

A new set of relational benefits for the green context is suggested. Several future research opportunities are suggested.

Practical implications

The study offers suggestions for managers to leverage relationship benefits for relationship strengthening.

Originality/value

No previous work has studied in an integrated way the relationship benefits and mediators to model the consumer–green brand relationship. The study provides a better understanding of the antecedents of consumer loyalty towards green brands.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2008

Doina Olaru, Sharon Purchase and Nathan Peterson

The paper aims to fill a gap in the literature in relation to the determinants of customer value within the research and development (R&D) industry and word‐of‐mouth. It…

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7205

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to fill a gap in the literature in relation to the determinants of customer value within the research and development (R&D) industry and word‐of‐mouth. It investigates whether context specific variables, such as organizational type and contract length, change customer value evaluations and the value – intention to repurchase – recommend system.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of Australian customers of a research and development service organization was conducted. Structural equation modelling was used to develop a model investigating factors that affect customer value, intent to re‐purchase, and word‐of‐mouth/recommendation.

Findings

Relationship benefits, service benefits and sacrifice all had a significant influence on customer value. Efficient use of time is crucial for sacrifice evaluation. Relationship benefits were larger for government organizations than private organizations. Importance of value to recommend the organization to others was higher for longer contracts and government customers.

Research limitation/implications

Results show that R&D organizations need to concentrate on both the technical service/science aspects and the relationship aspects in their contracts. Government institutions tended to emphasize the relationship benefits while private businesses considered service benefits, relationship benefits and sacrifice nearly equal in their determination of value. Intent to contract R&D organization for further work and the willingness to recommend it to others as a highly specialized and competent service provider seem to be higher for government customers and longer contracts.

Originality/value

This paper investigates customer value in a little researched industry, R&D. The findings are relevant for similar professional business‐to‐business services.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Beatriz Moliner-Velazquez, María Fuentes-Blasco and Irene Gil-Saura

In the context of relationship marketing, identifying the elements that contribute to creating value for companies has become essential for managing customer satisfaction…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of relationship marketing, identifying the elements that contribute to creating value for companies has become essential for managing customer satisfaction and retention. The literature has focused on business-to-end consumer relationships and there are few contributions in the business-to-business context, especially in the tourism industry. The aim of this study is to analyze the process of relationship value creation between tourism companies from the more relevant antecedents proposed in the literature: relationship benefits, long-term orientation and attitude towards the main provider.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted with 309 travel agency managers who assessed the relationship with their main provider. All constructs were measured with multiple-item scales adapted from the literature. The proposed relationships were tested with a causal model estimated by robust maximum likelihood algorithm showing adequate fix indices.

Findings

The results show that attitude toward the service provider, long-term relationship and relational benefits – multi-dimensional construct formed by confidence, social and special treatment benefits – make a significant contribution to the value formation in the relationship with the main provider. Furthermore, relationship benefits exert the greatest effect on relationship value.

Practical implications

Based on the authors findings, practical suggestions for developing and maintaining successful long-term relations between tourism companies are proposed. To avoid the characteristic disintermediation of the travel industry, both providers and client agencies must be aware of the importance of perceived relationship value. Interpersonal elements such as trust, affective ties and preferential treatment are important aspects in the creation of that value. Service differentiation strategies are also the key to improving supplier image and perceived value in relation to the competition. Finally, the appropriate combination of ICT investment and customized service can provide major opportunities for reinforcing relations between tourism companies.

Originality/value

The paper provides empirical evidence of the impact of relationship benefits, attitude and long-term orientation on relationship value in the business-to-business tourism context.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Maria-Eugenia Ruiz-Molina, Irene Gil-Saura and David Servera-Francés

This work aims to attempt an in-depth study of the link between relationship benefits and store loyalty, examining the moderating role of the retailer’s degree of…

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1604

Abstract

Purpose

This work aims to attempt an in-depth study of the link between relationship benefits and store loyalty, examining the moderating role of the retailer’s degree of innovation in these relations.

Design/methodology/approach

An equations model has been contrasted based on 820 valid individual structured questionnaires administered to consumers of 13 trade names in four retail distribution sectors (food, textile, electronics and household goods).

Findings

The results provide evidence of the positive influence of relationship benefits on store loyalty and in particular the benefits stemming from trust. The links between social and special treatment benefits in relation to loyalty are, however, significantly stronger in the less innovative establishments.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides evidence of the moderating role of innovation on the relationship between social benefits and special treatment benefits and loyalty.

Practical implications

Technology may be used as a differentiation tool. The retailer should concentrate its investments on information and communications technology solutions that contribute to enhance the customer experience at the point of sale without neglecting the social dimension to increase the benefits of trust and ultimately, customer loyalty.

Originality/value

The paper provides an in-depth examination of the retail innovation variable which is scarcely analysed in the literature, offering support for the idea that innovation at the point of sale plays a moderating role in the links between relational benefits and customer loyalty.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2018

Shihyu Chou and Chi-Wen Chen

The purpose of this study is to develop and examine an integrated mediating model that contains relationship benefits as the relationship antecedents; trust, relationship

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1883

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop and examine an integrated mediating model that contains relationship benefits as the relationship antecedents; trust, relationship commitment and gratitude as mediators; and repurchase intention as the relationship consequence in a service business context.

Design/methodology/approach

The study recruited 253 respondents to test the proposed model. A partial-least-square-based structural equation modeling was adopted to evaluate the measurement of research constructs and test the research hypotheses that underpinned a proposed conceptual model.

Findings

The results show that confidence benefits increase trust more than social and special treatment benefits; social benefits have the most influence on relationship commitment; and special treatment benefits most greatly enhance feelings of gratitude. Thus, depending on the improvement objectives, marketers can accordingly choose the proper relationship benefits as a primary approach. Furthermore, both the direct and indirect effects of confidence benefits and social benefits on repurchase intention were significant.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is that all research variables were measured at a static point rather than as they were developing. Ignorance of the temporal sequence may incur the concern of possible spurious causal relationship inferences.

Practical implications

The study’s findings offer several important implications for service providers, which, in this study, were separated into high (e.g. such as hairdressing, beauty and massage) and low personal contact service groups (e.g. telecommunications and equipment maintenance). First, social benefits are more effective at increasing gratitude in the low personal contact service group, and at boosting trust in the high-contact group. Second, special treatment benefits increase gratitude much more in the high-contact group than in the low personal contact group. Third, gratitude has a much stronger effect on repurchase intention in the high personal contact group than in the low-contact group.

Originality/value

The interactions among relationship benefits, mediators (i.e. trust and relationship commitment) and outcomes remain unclear. Although the importance of gratitude as a mediator in relationship marketing (RM) has been shown, little research has examined how relational benefits influence repurchase intention through the combined mediating effects of commitment, trust and gratitude. Therefore, this study advances RM theory by examining the degree of additional explaining power that gratitude contributes to the commitment–trust model. The study also makes a practical contribution by building a research model to understand the nature of mediating roles played by relationship commitment, trust and gratitude in the service industry.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Johanna Gummerus, Veronica Liljander, Emil Weman and Minna Pihlström

Customer engagement is a concept that has emerged recently to capture customers' total set of behavioral activities toward a firm. The purpose of this paper is to study…

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33177

Abstract

Purpose

Customer engagement is a concept that has emerged recently to capture customers' total set of behavioral activities toward a firm. The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of customer engagement behaviors on perceived relationship benefits and relationship outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of members of a gaming Facebook brand community, resulting in 276 usable responses from gaming customers.

Findings

Customer engagement was divided into “Community Engagement Behaviors” (CEB) and “Transactional Engagement Behaviors” (TEB). In addition, three relationship benefits were identified: social benefits, entertainment benefits and economic benefits. The engagement behaviors largely influenced the benefits received. Furthermore, the mediation analysis results show that the influence of CEB on satisfaction is partially mediated by social benefits and entertainment benefits, while the effect of TEB on satisfaction is fully mediated through the same benefits. The effect of CEB on loyalty is mediated through entertainment benefits.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to one brand community. The findings have implications for further research on customer engagement.

Practical implications

The paper's findings give ideas about how firms can utilize Facebook communities to enhance satisfaction and loyalty by offering the right kinds of relationship benefits. Managers are encouraged to study customer engagement behaviors on, and perceptions of, all channels and to utilize this information for the development of their social media strategies.

Originality/value

Customer engagement is a newly introduced concept on which scarce empirical research exists, and there is very little evidence of its effect on customer relationships. This is the first paper to study customer engagement empirically on a Facebook brand community, and to relate customer engagement to relationship constructs.

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Jin-Soo Lee, Seongseop Kim and Steve Pan

This paper aims to, building on the concept of relational benefits, relationship marketing investments, gratitude, satisfaction and favorable reciprocal behaviors, examine…

Downloads
2499

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to, building on the concept of relational benefits, relationship marketing investments, gratitude, satisfaction and favorable reciprocal behaviors, examine the mechanism of cultivating relationships with valued customers at an upscale restaurant.

Design/methodology/approach

To capture the traits of the population (upscale restaurant customers who perceive relationship marketing investments by experiencing relational benefits), upscale restaurant customers with membership cards were contacted in the survey. Structural equation modeling was used to test measurement and structural models.

Findings

Empirical findings indicated that confidence and social benefits positively contributed to relationship marketing investments, whereas special treatment benefits were not significantly related to relationship marketing investments. In turn, relationship marketing investments positively affected both gratitude and satisfaction; relationship marketing investments were also more associated with gratitude than satisfaction. Gratitude positively evoked favorable reciprocal behaviors; however, satisfaction did not trigger favorable reciprocal behaviors.

Originality/value

The integration of relationship marketing investments and gratitude into the conceptual model would allow the current findings to generate rich theoretical and practical implications that the extant hospitality literature has not elucidated.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Book part
Publication date: 16 June 2005

Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Kevin P. Gwinner, Dwayne D. Gremler and Michael Paul

Customer relational benefits have been identified as a driving motivation for consumers to engage in long term relationships with service providers. Such benefits can be…

Abstract

Customer relational benefits have been identified as a driving motivation for consumers to engage in long term relationships with service providers. Such benefits can be expected to play a crucial role in the success of service firms when extending their business into other countries and cultures. Most of the previous discussion of relational benefits has been conducted almost exclusively in North-American contexts and has not addressed the impact a nation’s culture may have on the relevance of relational benefits for gaining relationship outcomes such as customer loyalty. The aim of this article is to deepen our understanding of the role of relational benefits in developing long-term relationships with consumers in a cross-cultural context. Specifically, propositions focusing on the moderating role of power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, and uncertainty avoidance for the benefits-outcomes relationship are developed. The article concludes with a discussion of potential implications for service firms and researchers.

Details

Research on International Service Marketing: A state of the Art
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-185-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2020

Nisar Ahmed Channa, Maqsood Hussain Bhutto, Musaira Bhutto, Niaz Ahmed Bhutto and Beenish Tariq

Research suggests that innovation plays a key role in creating a competitive edge and business survival in highly competitive industries like retail. Despite the…

Abstract

Purpose

Research suggests that innovation plays a key role in creating a competitive edge and business survival in highly competitive industries like retail. Despite the importance of innovation in retail establishments, very limited efforts have been made so far to study how innovation influences consumer behavior in retail establishments. This paper aims to identify the impact of relationship benefits (i.e. confidence, social and special treatment benefits) on consumer’s loyalty with the retail store and examine the moderating effect of retailer innovation in these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

To conduct this study, a sample comprised of 400 consumers of four retail sectors (i.e. household, electronics, textile and food) was chosen. The data were analyzed through partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) technique.

Findings

The findings of this research suggest a significant positive influence of confidence and special treatment benefits on consumer loyalty and that retail innovation moderates the link between relationship benefits and consumer loyalty.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the existing literature in the domain of retail customer loyalty by empirically testing the under-studied phenomenon of retail innovation with the help of contingency theory.

Details

European Business Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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