استفاده از برنامه های بازاریابی رابطه ای در ساختن روابط مشتری ـــ فروشنده و روابط مشتری ــ شرکت : تأثیرات افتراقی بر پیامدهای مالی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2818||2007||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 24, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 210–223
Despite the conventional wisdom that relationship marketing will generate favorable financial results, extant marketing research provides inconsistent evidence for this effect. Here, we investigate this important question: Does a firm's relationship marketing truly pay off by enhancing financial outcomes? We examine the effects of relationship marketing on a buyer's concurrent person-to-firm relationship with the selling firm and his/her interpersonal relationship with the salesperson. Drawing on social judgment and attribution theories, we offer and test a theoretical model explicating (1) how a seller's social, structural, and financial relationship marketing programs affect buyer relationship quality with the salesperson and the selling firm and (2) how those relationship qualities ultimately generate seller financial outcomes. Relationship marketing programs indeed build buyer relationship quality, but whether those relationship-building effects reside with the salesperson or the selling firm depends on buyer perceptions regarding salesperson versus selling firm control of those programs. Buyer relationship quality with both salesperson and selling firm positively affect seller financial outcomes, but the effect of relationship quality with the selling firm is enhanced as perceived selling firm consistency increases. Employing triadic data from matched buyer, salesperson, and sales manager, this research presents an end-to-end empirical examination of how a seller's relationship marketing affects its financial outcomes through the buyer's relationships with the salesperson and selling firm.
Despite a significant amount of research, the impact of relationship marketing on financial performance remains unclear. Empirical evidence (e.g., Colgate and Danaher, 2000 and Kalwani and Narayandas, 1995) suggests that firms are often disappointed with the results of relationship marketing (RM), or activities that seek to establish, develop, and maintain successful relational exchanges with another party (Morgan & Hunt, 1994). In some cases, RM has even been found to affect performance negatively ( Colgate and Danaher, 2000 and Dowling and Uncles, 1997). Thus, we ask, “Does a firm's use of RM truly pay off?” This research explores how RM activities affect a firm's financial performance through buyer relationships with both the firm and its salespeople. Empirical studies concurrently examine person-to-firm and interpersonal cross-firm relationships (Table 1), which reveal that an individual buyer may be affected more by interpersonal relationships than by his or her relationship with a firm. Despite the post hoc speculations ( Doney and Cannon, 1997, Iacobucci and Ostrom, 1996 and Reynolds and Beatty, 1999), no extant study provides a theoretically grounded explanation for this difference or identifies specific antecedents or moderators that may inform managerial action. This missing explanation creates a serious gap in our knowledge; why do buyer relationships with the salesperson and the selling firm have different effects, and in what circumstances are such differences likely to occur? By testing a theory-based model with triadic data from buyers, salespeople, and sales managers in manufacturer representative channels, a context that isolates the impact of relationship-building elements, this research offers insight into how and when RM generates favorable financial performance. Our findings offer implications for both theoretical developments and managerial practice.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Most extant RM research and practice relies on the classic model, in which RM activities build relationships that drive performance (Morgan & Hunt, 1994). We argue, with supportive evidence from our findings, that a better understanding of the impact of RM on financial performance may be gleaned by encompassing multiple relationship levels in RM models. Our findings offer substantive implications for both interpretations of previous findings and the design of further research. First, RM manifests effects at multiple relational levels. It positively affects seller financial outcomes by building buyer relationship quality with both the selling firm and the salesperson. Our findings support the contention that RM operates through multiple, empirically distinct, relational pathways, and the failure to account for the relationship-building benefits beyond a single relationship level severely restricts the ability of any study to capture the full impact of RM efforts. Salesperson relationships have a greater impact on two of the three financial outcomes we study, and post hoc comparisons of the path coefficients suggest that the average direct effect of relationship quality with the salesperson on financial outcomes (.27) is greater than its average indirect effects (.04, through relationship quality with the selling firm). In situations in which the salesperson plays a central role, relationship quality with the salesperson has a significant, direct impact on financial outcomes and operates independently of relationship quality with the selling firm, a finding consistent with experimental results from social psychology (O'Laughlin & Malle, 2002). Even in contexts in which the salesperson is not critical, previous research (Table 1) and our findings suggest that cross-firm research that ignores the role of interpersonal relationships systematically underestimates the financial benefits of RM and provides little insight into important differences in the mobility or transferability of customer relationships at the salesperson versus the firm level. Therefore, managers who measure their customer relationships only at the firm level (e.g., loyalty studies) may enjoy a false sense of security if the majority of that relationship actually is “owned” by the salesperson and the salesperson moves to a competitor (Palmatier, Scheer, & Steenkamp, 2007). Second, different types of RM activities build different types of relational bonds with varying degrees of effectiveness. Social, financial, and structural RM activities are not equally effective for building relationships and can operate through multiple relational pathways. Aggregating diverse programs into a global RM measure risks masking the effectiveness of these different programs and prevents isolating the differences in customers' perceptions of salesperson control. Furthermore, when studies consider specific types of RM, they still must recognize the importance of the perceived control of those programs. Third, the interaction between the type of RM activity and the customer's perceptions of control over that activity determines the locus of relationship-building effects. The buyer's perception of salesperson control over the provision/allocation of RM is crucial, because it directs any relationship-building effects and dictates whether the buyer forms bonds with the salesperson, the selling firm, or both. Prior RM research practice— which links specific RM programs with a single relationship level on the basis of the program's nature and the measurement referent—fails to account for perceived control and likely generates misleading conclusions. The inability to find the hypothesized effects of RM on various relational constructs may be due to a failure in capturing the customer's perception that an entity at another relationship level actually controlled the disposition of the RM benefit. For example, our results may clarify Doney and Cannon's (1997) report that information sharing (e.g., “supplier will share confidential information with us”) does not enhance trust in the supplier, as well as Sirdeshmukh et al.'s (2002) finding of an inconsistent effect of a firm's problem-solving orientation (e.g., “goes out of the way to solve customer problems”) on customer trust. These RM programs may actually be building relationships at the interpersonal level versus the hypothesized firm level. Fourth, relationships formed with individuals and firms operate differently and have potentially disparate effects on behaviors and outcomes. Relationship quality with the salesperson affects all three financial outcomes and has a greater impact on customer share and sales growth than does relationship quality with the selling firm. These findings are consistent with social judgment theory (Hamilton & Sherman, 1996), which contends that buyer attitudes at the interpersonal level have a greater impact because they are based in well-elaborated evaluations formed over time, whereas attitudes at the person-to-firm level have a lesser impact because of their basis in less elaborated judgments that arise from episodic recall. We also uncover evidence that suggests when the selling firm is more consistent, the impact of buyer–selling firm relationships increase. The impact of buyer–salesperson relationship duration on relationship quality with the salesperson (β = .27, p < .01) also is consistent with theory (Hamilton & Sherman, 1996). As buyers update, elaborate, and reinforce their judgments using an online model, their confidence in those judgments strengthens. Thus, as convictions deepen over the duration of an interpersonal relationship, the buyer's relationship quality with the salesperson becomes stronger. In contrast, because buyers use a recall model to form judgments about firms, more recent information is more important, and relationship duration seems largely irrelevant. In support of this claim, we find no association between buyer–selling firm relationship duration and relationship quality with the selling firm (β = − .01, n.s.). Previous research on social judgment theory has involved laboratory research in which subjects offer evaluations of groups that are hypothetical, temporary, or peripheral to the evaluator's daily life. We find support for social judgment theory in a business-to-business context with well-defined entities (i.e., selling firms) and therefore provide an avenue of potential research that could extend social judgment theory. The totality of our findings argues that social judgment theory deserves further investigation in cross-firm relationships.