کیفیت ارتباط عنوان پیش بینی کننده وفاداری مشتری B2B
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23645||2007||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 60, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 21–31
This study aims to provide a picture of how relationship quality can influence customer loyalty in the business-to-business (B2B) context. Building on prior research, we propose relationship quality as a higher construct comprising trust, commitment, satisfaction and service quality. We believe that these dimensions of relationship quality can reasonably explain the influence of overall relationship quality on customer loyalty. In addition, this study provides more insightful explanations of the influence of relationship quality on customer loyalty through two levels of relationship quality: relationship quality with employees of the supplier and relationship quality with the supplier itself as a whole. Aiming to fully explain the concept of customer loyalty, we follow the composite loyalty approach providing both behavioral aspects (purchase intentions) and attitudinal loyalty. We seek to address three main research issues: Does relationship quality influence both aspects of customer loyalty? If so, which relationship quality dimensions influence each of the components of customer loyalty? And which level of relationship quality (employee level versus organizational level) has more influence on customer loyalty? This study uses the courier delivery service context in Australia and targets Australian Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). We selected mail survey and online survey as the two methods of data collection, and together they received 306 usable respondents. Structural equation modeling yields insights into the influence of the dimensions and levels of relationship quality on customer loyalty. Results show that all four dimensions of relationship quality influence attitudinal loyalty, however, only satisfaction and perceived service quality influence behavioral loyalty (purchase intentions). Most remarkably, results indicate that only the organizational level of relationship quality influences customer loyalty. The employee level of relationship quality does not play a significant in influencing B2B customer loyalty in this study.
In a B2B environment, suppliers and/or service providers need to understand the nature and circumstances of their customers because of the unique characteristics of the customers acting as organizations. In a B2B service setting, in particularly the courier service context, business customers need customization of services, products and price structure. Each business customer also uses the service and products in a different fashion. In general cases, developing individual relationship with business customers offers supplier a secure loyal customer base and opportunities to reach a high level of profitability. As business customers spend large amounts of money in their purchase of products and services, managing and maintaining loyal business customers can offer greater revenue for a supplier or a service provider. The importance and benefits of attracting and maintaining loyal customers has arisen from a general acceptance that profitability follows customer loyalty (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990, Jones and Sasser, 1995 and Reichheld, 1996). In this sense, a complete understanding of the concept of loyalty highlights the need to build up customer loyalty as a long-term investment as well as the need for a customer relationship management between customers and the supplier. With attempts to fulfill the needs of business customers, many supplying and selling firms see the importance of the strategic management of supplier and customer relationships (Eng, 2004) and engage in relationships with their business customers (Ryssel et al., 2004). Some authors (e.g., Woo and Ennew, 2004 and Woo and Ennew, 2005) view the quality of the business-to-business relationship as a crucial factor in building success in the market. Retaining customers over the long run yields greater profits. However, researchers have not widely explored either the development of loyalty or its potential application to the business-to-business settings. This study aims to add to the literature and provide a picture of how relationship quality can influence customer loyalty in a B2B context. We use the courier service delivery industry in Australia to test our hypotheses and choose to survey small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and measure their loyalty, perceptions of service quality, satisfaction, trust and commitment. We explore the contribution of relationship quality to a composite measure of customer loyalty – both behavioral loyalty and attitudinal loyalty, and investigate the relationship quality construct through the power of its four proposed dimensions, trust, commitment, satisfaction and service quality and two levels of relationship quality – relationship quality with employees (employee/interpersonal level) and relationship quality with the supplier itself (organizational/inter-firm level). This article has the following organization. Section 1 provides some literature background to each construct we propose in this study, then Section 2 explains our conceptual model and draws the hypotheses. Section 3 describes our research design. Section 4 provides structural equation modeling results. Finally, Section 5 concludes with managerial implications in order to improve relationship quality and enhance customer loyalty for B2B customers, and provides the limitations of the research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The SEM results support the use of a second-order relationship quality construct with trust, commitment, satisfaction and service quality as its dimensions. Most of the relationship quality research provides three primary dimensions: trust, commitment and satisfaction (e.g., Crosby et al., 1990, Dorsch et al., 1998 and Moorman et al., 1992). This study included overall service quality as an additional dimension of relationship quality. The results of this study provide support for the suggestions of Crosby et al. (1990) and Hennig-Thurau and Klee (1997), who argue for the consideration of service quality as a condition for relationship quality. Furthermore, the results of a saturated second-order relationship construct confirm the inclusion of two levels of relationship quality, employee-level relationship quality and organizational-level relationship quality as sensible. We tested the conceptual model empirically, and the results support six out of sixteen hypotheses. Empirical results of this study suggested that only two dimensions of relationship quality, overall satisfaction and perception of service quality, influence purchase intentions. Results do not support that trust and commitment, at both employee and organizational level, influence purchase intentions. These results suggest that a supplier should put its efforts into enhancing customer satisfaction and designing excellent service systems in order for the customer to make continuing purchases or stay with the supplier. In terms of the relationship quality's influence on attitudinal loyalty, the SEM results show that trust in the supplier, affective commitment to the supplier, overall satisfaction and perception of service quality influence attitudinal loyalty. Results also indicate that trust in the employees, commitment in the employees (both affective and calculative), and calculative commitment to the supplier do not influence attitudinal loyalty. In the big picture, results indicate that employee level relationship quality has no significance in influencing both purchase intentions and attitudinal loyalty. With these results, we are able to suggest that a supplier should focus on building a relationship on the basis of creating the customer's trust in the courier as an organization, maintaining the customer's affective commitment level, enhancing overall satisfaction and again providing excellent service systems in order to create and maintain attitudinal loyalty. These results also give additional insights into SMEs customers' levels of loyalty and suggest that the quality of relationship which B2B customers have with employees of their suppliers does not influence loyalty. In more specific terms, both trust and commitment factors that the customers might have with the employees do not play a significant in enhancing their loyalty to the supplier.