The role of relationship strength in the formation of the customer-contact employee relationship

2017-06-07T06:11:48Z (GMT) by Wong, Amy
While relationship building and management, or what has been labelled relationship marketing is an old idea, it is also a new focus at the forefront of services marketing/management practice and academic research. The impetus for its development has come from the globalisation of business, technological advances, shorter product life cycles and the evolving recognition of the importance of customer retention and customer relationship economics. Despite the blossoming of relationship marketing, the creation of a conceptual framework for understanding its properties and studying its possibilities is still underdeveloped. This study therefore aims to investigate the antecedents and consequences of relationship strength in the service industry. A conceptual model is proposed that provides a framework for firm-controlled antecedent conditions such as the level of service quality and customer satisfaction provided and the use of relational bonds, and tests their impact on customer trust and commitment. This model then seeks to explore, from a customer's perspective, the influence of customer trust and commitment on attitudinal outcomes such as perceived relationship quality as well as behavioural outcomes such as loyalty to company, propensity to switch and willingness to pay more. Finally, future research is needed to provide empirical support for the proposed correlations between the constructs presented in the relationship strength model.