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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Maria M. Raciti, Tony Ward and Tracey S. Dagger

Much of the success of a relationship marketing program rests on the consumers' choice to participate in a service relationship in the first instance. The purpose of this…

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2345

Abstract

Purpose

Much of the success of a relationship marketing program rests on the consumers' choice to participate in a service relationship in the first instance. The purpose of this study is to examine the degree to which this desire of the consumer to engage in a relationship impacts on their perceived cognitive‐state gains (motivation, confidence and affiliation) and key measures of consumer‐to‐business relationship success (relationship strength, satisfaction and retention intentions).

Design/methodology/approach

Following a qualitative study, the main quantitative study used a self‐administered survey of 334 service consumers to understand relationship perceptions. Structural equation modeling was then used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Analysis revealed that consumers desire to participate in a relationship influenced their level of motivation, degree of confidence and these, in turn, impacted on the consumers' sense of affiliation with the service provider. A consumer's sense of affiliation subsequently influenced the strength of their relationship and their level of satisfaction with the relationship. Additionally, the effect of relationship desire on relationship strength and satisfaction was apparent. Consumers' desire indirectly impacted on retention intentions, suggesting that service managers should be careful not to assume that consumers' deliberate choice to participate in a relationship will routinely result in loyalty.

Originality/value

Practitioners and academics have sought to determine why some consumers, and not others, participate in relationships. This study adds to knowledge in this area by empirically demonstrating the extent to which the desire of a consumer to participate in a service relationship effects the gains accrued to the consumer and the relationship outcomes.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 47 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Tracey S. Dagger and Timothy K. O'Brien

Although customer relationships transpire through a process of time, encounters and experience, few studies have examined the dynamics of service relationships. This paper…

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6955

Abstract

Purpose

Although customer relationships transpire through a process of time, encounters and experience, few studies have examined the dynamics of service relationships. This paper aims to address this issue by examining the effect of experience on the association between relational benefits and relationship quality, and between relationship quality and loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a national sample of 376 service consumers and nine service industries, the study examines whether the impact of relationship benefits on perceptions of satisfaction, trust and commitment, and ultimately customer loyalty, differs significantly between novice and experienced customer cohorts.

Findings

The results indicate significant differences between novice and experienced cohorts. Specifically, the impact of confidence, social and special treatment benefits on perceptions of satisfaction, trust and commitment, and ultimately customer loyalty, differ significantly based on a customer's level of relationship experience.

Practical implications

The findings of this study have tactical and strategic implications for service firms, including effective customer asset management, resource allocation, and relationship strategy.

Originality/value

This study makes a significant new contribution to theory and practice.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2011

Sandy Ng, Meredith E. David and Tracey S. Dagger

This paper seeks to investigate the effects of relationship benefits on relationship quality and aspects of service quality, namely technical and functional quality, and…

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10637

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to investigate the effects of relationship benefits on relationship quality and aspects of service quality, namely technical and functional quality, and the subsequent influence on word‐of‐mouth behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports results from a structural equation model that utilizes data from 591 consumers across a range of services.

Findings

The findings highlight the important role of relationship benefits in driving customer perceptions of technical, functional and relationship quality. While confidence, social and special treatment benefits drive technical and functional quality, it is only confidence benefits that drive relationship quality. Furthermore, it is found that functional and relationship quality drive word‐of‐mouth behavior.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study contribute to the literature by showing the differential impact that relationship benefits have on quality – technical, functional, and relationship – and subsequently the effect that functional and relationship quality have on word‐of‐mouth behavior.

Practical implications

The paper provides firms with the knowledge needed to more effectively implement relationship‐marketing activities. As the service economy continues to grow, competition intensifies, and to ensure service excellence, firms need to establish strong relationships with their customers as the quality of the customer‐provider relationship can increase word‐of‐mouth behavior.

Originality/value

The paper empirically investigates the role of relationship benefits in enhancing perceptions of quality while also providing an analysis of the differential role of functional, technical, and relationship quality in enhancing customers' word‐of‐mouth intentions.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Tracey S. Dagger and Maria M. Raciti

Country‐of‐origin (COO) effects are concerned with buyers' opinions regarding the relative qualities of goods and services produced in various countries. It is the aim of…

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4982

Abstract

Purpose

Country‐of‐origin (COO) effects are concerned with buyers' opinions regarding the relative qualities of goods and services produced in various countries. It is the aim of this study to test a framework for investigating the match/mismatch between consumers' product category and country image perceptions. Specifically, the paper seeks to examine whether consumers perceive all products emanating from a particular country favourably simply because consumers associate favourable attributes with that country or whether this effect is specific to particular product categories.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a structured survey administered through mall intercepts. Data were collected from a sample of 188 Australian consumers. While Australian consumers were the focal country of study, countries selected for evaluation included Japan, Korea, the USA, Canada, China and New Zealand. The products selected included beer, automobiles, watches, leather shoes and stereos.

Findings

The findings suggest that when a strong favourable match exists between country and product image then COO will positively influence product evaluation and willingness to buy. Conversely, when an unfavourable mismatch is evident COO would negatively influence consumers' product evaluations and willingness to buy.

Originality/value

Given that most products originating in foreign countries are subject to country stereotyping or image effects, it is important for marketers and retailers to understand and manage the potential impact of COO effects. This study tests a framework that can be applied by marketers to determine the effect of product and country matches in relevant domestic or international markets.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Doan T. Nguyen, Janet R. McColl‐Kennedy and Tracey S. Dagger

This paper aims to argue that, traditionally, service recovery attempts have paid little attention to customer preferences. Despite attempts to recover the customer, firms…

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4304

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue that, traditionally, service recovery attempts have paid little attention to customer preferences. Despite attempts to recover the customer, firms generally do not know if the recovery solution is what the customer expects. Hence, the paper seeks to examine whether customer recovery preferences influence customers' evaluation of the recovery attempt in terms of recovery satisfaction and repurchase intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a two‐stage qualitative study was conducted. Then the research model was tested empirically on a sample of 431 consumers using a multivariate analysis.

Findings

The findings support the argument that customers have distinct recovery preferences. Moreover, customers are satisfied with the service recovery solution only when it matches the most demanding recovery preference. Customers' recovery preferences have a significant impact on their satisfaction with recovery and their repurchase intentions.

Research limitations/implications

First, the model developed is tested on a cross‐sectional sample. Second, the measure of recovery satisfaction and repurchase intentions used here was relatively simple. Third, the study relies on repurchase intentions instead of actual behavioural data.

Practical limitations/implications

This research indicates that customers have a preference for how service recovery should be undertaken. Given these distinct recovery preferences, different recovery solutions should be applied to address each preference appropriately.

Originality/value

It is widely accepted in the service recovery literature that customers' perceptions of a service recovery attempt are often different to those of the service provider. However, this research suggests that customer recovery preferences need to be carefully considered given their effect on customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions.

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Tracey S. Dagger, Meredith E. David and Sandy Ng

This paper seeks to examine the central role that commitment plays in driving customer loyalty and to identify the effect that confidence, social and special treatment…

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7193

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the central role that commitment plays in driving customer loyalty and to identify the effect that confidence, social and special treatment benefits as well as relationship investment, communication and management have on the development of commitment, and ultimately customer loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of a national mail survey of 591 consumers across nine different service industries.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that relationship commitment drives customer loyalty and that confidence, social and special treatment benefits affect commitment to the service, as does relationship investment and management. Surprisingly, relationship communication was found to have a negative effect on commitment to the service.

Practical implications

This paper provides managers with insight as to how they can better create and sustain loyal relationships through the creation of customer commitment.

Originality/value

The paper empirically demonstrates the importance of commitment in developing and sustaining loyal relationships while also providing a detailed assessment of the role of relationship benefits and maintenance in creating committed customers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2007

Tony Ward and Tracey S. Dagger

There are a number of assumptions inherent in relationship marketing, including claims that a relationship should be developed with all customers in all situations. This…

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19626

Abstract

Purpose

There are a number of assumptions inherent in relationship marketing, including claims that a relationship should be developed with all customers in all situations. This paper seeks to show that marketers should not automatically use relationship marketing techniques for all products and for all customers.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports the results of an empirical survey of 287 consumers for five service products in which consumers were asked to assess the strength of the relationship between themselves and their supplier.

Findings

Relationship strength was found to vary significantly between service products and individual customers, and the impact of duration of the relationship and the frequency of purchase on relationship strength depends greatly on the nature of the service product. It was also demonstrated that some customers want a closer relationship with service providers than other customers, and this aspect significantly affects the strength of relationship perceived by the customer.

Practical implications

This paper clearly shows that the use of relationship marketing techniques for service products needs to be much more thoroughly researched to provide guidance for practitioners and marketing theorists. The complexity of the “relationship” construct in marketing is clearly shown and there is as yet no known set of “rules” that indicate when relationship marketing techniques should, or should not, be used.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is to empirically demonstrate that not all customers want to develop relationships with all service suppliers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2010

Maria M. Raciti and Tracey S. Dagger

Building and maintaining strong customer relationships has been suggested as a means for gaining a competitive advantage. Despite this, few studies have examined the link…

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2418

Abstract

Purpose

Building and maintaining strong customer relationships has been suggested as a means for gaining a competitive advantage. Despite this, few studies have examined the link between written communication and relationship perceptions. Yet understanding the establishment of this link is a necessary precursor for the development of concrete relationship management strategies. This paper aims to test the effectiveness of well‐known and cited written communication elements in enhancing relationship perceptions. The paper specifically seeks to identify which elements of written communication are relationally conducive by examining the impact of these elements on customers' perceptions of the relationship they have with their service provider.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of an empirical survey of 422 distance education customers in which customers were asked to assess relationally conducive written communication elements and the importance of these elements on relationship development.

Findings

It was found that four components of written communication – message clarity, aesthetics, accuracy and physical features – were perceived by customers as relational cues that influence their relationship with the service organisation.

Originality/value

These findings are of value to service managers developing written communication that is conducive to relationship development. The contribution of the paper is that it empirically establishes a link between written communication and service relationships; an untested link that has been presumed in the literature. This basic empirical foundation is a necessary first step in the development of this research area.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2010

Pierre Chenet, Tracey S. Dagger and Don O'Sullivan

While service quality, trust and commitment are frequently cited as critical to achieving important firm outcomes, the role of service differentiation in this framework is…

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10390

Abstract

Purpose

While service quality, trust and commitment are frequently cited as critical to achieving important firm outcomes, the role of service differentiation in this framework is largely unknown. Yet, differentiation is important because a firm's distinctiveness is linked to client‐perceived value, competitive advantage, and a target market focus. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the role of service differentiation in business‐to‐business relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested using a sample of business clients from a large European financial services firm. The senior primary contact in each client firm was contacted by phone/e‐mail to arrange for completion of the survey. Using the survey instrument, respondents provided information on their relationship with the provider organization.

Findings

Results indicated that service quality had an impact on trust, differentiation and relationship outcomes. Trust was found to drive service differentiation. Differentiation, in turn, drove commitment which ultimately had an impact on both satisfaction and word‐of‐mouth. Importantly, it was found that service differentiation is a full mediator of the impact that service quality and trust have on client commitment towards the firm.

Originality/value

The findings clearly show the importance of service differentiation in achieving high levels of relationship commitment and ultimately satisfaction and positive word‐of‐mouth. As the role of differentiation in business‐to‐business relationships has received limited research focus, this paper offers managers new insights into relationship development. Importantly, differentiation is a managerially controlled variable that firms can use to influence relationship outcomes.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Tracey S. Dagger and Meredith E. David

This paper seeks to demonstrate that assuming an increase in satisfaction will always lead to greater loyalty oversimplifies the complex association between these…

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3728

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to demonstrate that assuming an increase in satisfaction will always lead to greater loyalty oversimplifies the complex association between these constructs. A more accurate view of the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship is gained by examining the moderating effect of involvement, switching costs, and relationship benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports the results of a hierarchal‐moderated regression analysis on data gathered from a national mail survey of 509 customers across nine service types.

Findings

The findings of this study suggest that the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship is not as simple as it seems. Specifically, the negative effect that switching costs have on the association between satisfaction and loyalty declines as customer involvement with the service relationship grows, but increases as the customer perceives greater relationship benefit. These findings suggest that simply enhancing satisfaction will not always generate greater customer loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should consider the effects of other moderating variables, such as relationship investment and quality, on the satisfaction‐loyalty link.

Practical implications

This paper provides managers with insight as to how to best increase customer loyalty.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to simultaneously examine the moderating effect of customer involvement, switching costs, and social benefits on the satisfaction‐loyalty association.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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