communication and value processes, which are suggested to be vital in successful execution of a relationship marketing strategy (Grönroos 2004).
When consumers engage in relationships and process communication, they begin to perceive value. Perceived value can be divided into functional, economical, emotional, social/self- expressive, epistemic, and conditional (Aaker 1996, 95-101; Bhat and Reddy 1998; de Chernatony 1993; Holbrook 1994; Long and Schiffman 2000; Sheth et al. 1991; Zeithaml 1988). Perceived value is regarded as a key element for customers in sustaining a relationship with a marketer (Berry and Parasuraman 1991; Long and Schiffman 2000). Thus, perceived value can be viewed as an antecedent of customerloyalty. In addition to traditional products, brands, and services, researchers have also successfully used these dimensions of perceived value to assess consumers’ perceptions of technology-based self-services, like mobile services (Heinonen and Strandvik 2003: Heinonen 2004; Pura 2005). Hence, we believe that these value categories should also be effective in capturing the effects of DMC on customerloyalty. Commitment is also a central concept in RM. Commitment is defined as a desire to maintain a relationship (Moorman et al. 1992; Morgan and Hunt 1994). Commitment can be divided into affective and continuance commitment (Gundlach et al. 1995; Fullerton 2003). Affective commitment is based on emotional attachments: identification, shared values, belongingness, dedication, friendship, and similarity (Price and Arnould 1999; Pritchard et al. 1999). Continuance commitment is based on switching costs, investments, dependence, and lack of choices (Gundlach et al. 1995; Meyer et al. 1990). Also a concept of (cognitive) lock-in is also related to continuance commitment, defined as “consumers’ decreased propensity to search and switch after an initial investment.” (Johnson et al. 2003; Zauberman 2003). This term seems to be sometimes used as a synonym for continuance commitment, and describes consumer behavior on the Internet. Interactive media changes the way in which commitment is formed. It has been found that on the Internet consumer lock-in is greater than in a traditional retail environment (Brynjolfsson and Smith 2000). The Internet can also be effective in creating affective commitment, one example being virtual communities.
The research results of ECCI show that the interaction perception between customers exhibit dependence in different industries. Existing researches mainly concentrate on industries such as retain business, tourism and pay little attention on real estate. The real estate industry in China now attaches more importance to short-term profit. Although it increases rapidly, the satisfactory level is low. In contrast, the mature real estate enterprises at abroad place more stress on the significance of establishing favorable relationship between enterprise and customer. Their historical statistics suggest that the recommendation of old customers take up of great proportion of customer resources and turnover probability. Hence, increasing customer satisfactory level and loyalty are key factors of facilitating health development of real estate industry in China. At present, many studies have been performed on the satisfactory level and loyalty of the customers in real estate industry in China, however they mainly investigate the link between enterprises and customers and fail to consider the effect of the customer to customer link. Furthermore, they do not explore the effect of ECCI on customerloyalty.
Enterprises should review the customer journey from two perspectives: what the customer sees (and keeps track of) and how the agent views the journey. There may be missing data points that should be at least considered. For example, the customer may start their journey on the mobile web, clicking through to a company website and FAQ pages. If that customer cannot find the right information they may then connect through a chat, wait for an agent, and ask their question, ideally getting a resolution within chat. The enterprise may track that customer as a user of the mobile website, but the contact center agent who connects with the customer is unlikely to know much about the previous steps the customer took. Likewise, the marketing department that tracks clicks on a webpage is unlikely to know much about the agent interaction, being focused only on web behavior and revenues from advertising. Once enterprises have a better view of these complex behavioral patterns and channel changes they can make it easier for customers to find information in self-service, as well as to switch from a purchase to a support question while remaining within the device or channel of choice.
Although many relationship tactics have potential for developing customer trust, satisfaction and loyalty, some tactics are more sensitive than others. Marketers should put their efforts into implementing more effective relationship marketing tactics, in order to enhance customer perceived trust, satisfaction and loyalty. In this case, value-adding tactic are less effective than service quality, price tactic and brand image tactic for building customer trust and satisfaction. This implied that the consumer might be not satisfied with or not sensitive to some value-adding promotional activities. Therefore, the mobile service providers should consider to improving the way of interaction with consumers. For example, offering more attractive reward, using English rather than Swedish language in promotion activities to communicate with more foreigners.
Communication in the marketing context can be seen as formal and informal exchanging and sharing of meaningful and timely information between buyers and sellers. It is also defined as the consumer’s perception of the extent to which a seller interacts with its regular customers in a warm and personal way (Naoui and Zalem, 2010). It is the ability of the service provider to provide timely and trustworthy information that will enable customers to flow with the providers. Such an interaction is reflected in the feelings of familiarity and friendship. As a relationship marketing underpinning, communication means keeping touch with valued customers, providing timely and trustworthy information on services and service changes and communicating proactively if a delivery problem occurs. It enables unsatisfied customers to know what the organization is doing to rectify the causes of dissatisfaction. It has been observed that when there is communicationbetween providers and customers, a good relationship will result and customers will be more loyal (Ndubisi, 2007; Agu, 2017). Communication is the ability to provide timely and trust worthy information at all stages of the purchase decision process; during the pre-selling, selling, consuming and post-consuming stages. It involves providing information pro-actively if a delivery problem occurs. Open, sincere and frequent interactions describe effective communication. Bi-directional communication leads to a strong relationship, which in turn leads to increased loyalty.
Next, we implement 10 fold cross validation experiments. Therefore, there are 10 trees have been built. And they are listed in table 3. From this table, we can find fold #2 that has the best performance (the lowest error rate). Consequently, this tree has been picked to select features. Table 4 summarizes all extracted knowledge rules by this decision tree. There are seven rules and the attributes left in the nodes will be considered as important. We also divided the all samples into “customers” and “B&B enterprisers” to find the differences. In table 5, we can find 8 important factors from 16 candidate attributes. They are “Q4(Advertisement)”, “Q6(Beacons and Polls”, “Q8(Selection of features)”, “Q9(Aesthetics and visual quality)”, “Q10(Interaction quality)”, “Q13(Altruism)”, “Q14(Socialization and learning)”, and “Q15(Relaxation)”.
Creating a web site that supports online shopping comes with its challenges in creating a shopping experience. Unlike offline (physical) shopping, online shopping must arouse emotional responses through limited virtual channels. This study examined the effects of five VEM elements, sense, interaction, pleasure, flow and community relationship, on creating and developing attitudes (i.e., favorable emotional responses to stimuli) that contribute to customerloyalty. The three salient elements, interaction, pleasure and community relationship, can be mapped to the three components of the SOR model. Interaction provides the means for atmospheric cues to stimulate an emotional response, pleasure, in the consumer. A consequent response is community relationship, the need to identify with a group or community which fosters loyalty and citizenship. The presence of the three elements contributes to the formation of positive attitudes that are essential to browse and purchase intentions. The consumer’s economic and convenience (shopping) orientations enhance the effects of the three elements on browse intention, such that the stronger a person’s motives as reflected in his/her price- and efficiency-centric behaviors, the greater the impact they (elements) will have on developing browse intention, which contributes towards building customerloyalty.
The next CRM step is maintenance and continuity the long term relationship with current customers in order to build customerloyalty. Undoubtedly, customer service is one of main tools that provide a basis to receive and manage customer complaints during and specially after selling so that facilitates CR. According to a research from numerous customers about the most effective factors on CR, customer service with 85% was recognized as the second (after product quality) and public relations (particularly in disaster management) with 73% as the third effective factor . In another survey, 63% of questioned companies have stated that email had been their most effective CR tool . Direct marketing by using a wide range of interactive and addressable media (such as telephone calls, SMS, mail, email and etc.) can send right massages in right time to keep current customers and increase their share of wallet from the brand . Firms also are using public relations via different kinds of news media (TV, radio, newspaper, news websites and etc.) to enhance credibility, reinforce brand image and as a result prevent customer churn. In addition, since CR is at the heart of brand relationships, sale’s persons in meetings and TFs not only should create relationships, but also try to keep it on. Their main goal must be building trust so that the customers keep their relationship with brand . Advertising through mass media is used for CR with the goal of reminding the brand to customer in his future purchase.
The process of deregulating the telecommunication industry in Nigeria began in 1992 with the establishment of Nigerian Communications Commission by Decree 75 of 1992. The objectives of the regulation have been to create an environment which would facilitate the supply of telecommunication services, allowing private entrepreneurs to enter the market while promoting fair competition and enhancing level of service for the concerned. The sector was formally liberalized in January 2001 with Econet and MTN taking off in June and August, 2001 respectively. The country has 183,047 active subscribers (fixed wired/wireless lines), 138,530,830 active subscribers (mobile cellular GSM) and 2,108,960 active subscribers (mobile CDMA lines) as at January 2015 (Nigerian Communication Commission). So, the Nigerian telecommunication industry has already become a mature market. The major Nigerian mobile operators – MTN, Glo, Airtel, and Etisalat – have launched a mobile marketing initiative with the four companies sharing more than 90% of Nigerian telecommunication market.
The concept of relationship marketing within services displays the importance of one-to-one relationships between businesses and customers as well as relationships between consumers and the brands (O’Loughlin, Szmigin, and Turnbull, 2004). The development of a brand relationship with customers is based on a series of brand contacts experienced by customers (Grönroos, 2000). What customer perceives the brand image during such experience is critical issue for a service firm to realize. Furthermore, customers is likely to form brand image in mind from inexperience ways, such as word of mouth from other consumers, a company’s reputation in public, marketingcommunication, and so on. A positive brand image make it easier for a firm to convey its brand value to consumers, also generates favorable word of mouth among people; contrarily, a negative image affect people in opposite direction; a neutral or unfamiliar image may not cause any damage, but it does not increase the effectiveness of communication and word of mouth either (Ibid). The more customers consider a brand valuable, the more sales can be expected to be achieved (Ibid).
Marketing strategies that consider satisfaction effect to consumers in the determination are: segmentation strategy, targeting and positioning, and marketing mix strategy, which includes product, price, distribution and promotion. Observation of consumer behavior becomes an important consideration in the process of setting marketing strategy. This is because generally many companies in running their business with an emphasis on consumer-oriented marketing philosophy, known as the concept of marketing. With the concept of marketing, the company always strives to provide higher satisfaction to consumers or customers. Customers generally expect products in the form of goods or services consumed can be received and enjoyed with good service and satisfactory. Customers generally place great emphasis on the second dimension of service or service that is essential and expected, that is to be trusted or reliability. This is certainly part of the things that affect the perception of value and customer satisfaction. In general, service quality factors consisting of reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles are the factors that determine the customer in giving the perception of value and satisfaction. Reliability demonstrates PLN's ability to deliver customer service as originally promised. The existence of responsiveness shows the alertness of PLN in handling customer complaints and technical problems in the field quickly and accurately. In addition, the assurance factor also supports PLN in providing warranty for 24 hours service to all electrical disturbances. The existence of services supported by all technical personnel are adequate and full of patience and informative and have complete facilities and equipment that support officers in the field will increasingly support the perception of value and customer satisfaction. In addition to the quality of services provided will further support the perception of value and customer satisfaction is to provide evidence of the marketing mix, which includes product, price, promotion, place from the manufacturer side, and from the customercustomer solution, customer cost, communication and convenient.
The descriptive statistics results in Table 9 show the mean scores for the different platforms by which direct marketing activities and messages have been passed to customers in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria as components of integrated marketingcommunication strategies of network service providers to attract customerloyalty. Out of the five platforms studied, SMS marketing influences customer the most to be loyal having showed a mean score of 4.19. This was followed direct online interactions with a mean score of 4.17; followed by leaflet messages with a mean score of 3.85; followed by catalogue messages with a mean score of 3.72 while mail messages ranked the lowest with a mean score of 3.70. Considering the descriptive statistics results, all the five platforms have approximately 4.0 mean score which fall under “Partially Agree” scaling on a maximum scale of 6.0 for “Strongly Agree”. The implication of this is that there is a low perception on the part of telecoms subscribers regarding how direct marketing activities and messages as components of integrated marketing strategies influence their loyalty in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The result of hypothesis 5 in Table 10 however shows that direct marketing activities and messages are effective components of integrated marketing communications strategies for gaining customerloyalty in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. Summarily, the customers surveyed are not too sure of the extent to which direct marketing activities as tools of integrated marketing communications strategies for customerloyalty in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The result of hypothesis 5 notwithstanding, the specific pattern depicted in Table 9 has shown the direction and extent in which the different direct marketing platforms (in terms of customer perception) can attract customerloyalty in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The scope of direct marketing platforms studied is in agreement with the opinion of Aremu (2006).
Branch managers constantly have to balance betweenmarketing services to new customers and investing in relationship marketing to retain existing customers, with limited resources (Carson et al., 2004). Role conflicts and role stress may result as employees are asked to manage individual customers of different profitability segments with different communication strategies. The implementation of such strategies is particularly difficult when customers are unaware of their (changing) profitability status within the bank. This makes it impossible to direct customers to different tellers, or contact persons. The personnel need to be willing and able to communicate with all customer segments according to the chosen strategy. Although internal marketing (Ballantyne, 2003; Berry, 1981; O’Loughlin and Szmigin, 2005) can be used to reduce employee discomfort and to increase their understanding of and commitment to the RM segmentation strategy, a completely new model of relationship management, with new ways of contacting and interacting with customers may be needed.
From the organizations' perspective, the use of brand social media can help company’s performance through the values created via customers’ continued interactions (Shi et al., 2016; Trainor, 2012; Yu et al., 2018). In a progressively competitive environment, retailers are moving towards being service-oriented than product-oriented. Retailers have to compete and provide new service innovation (Fain et al., 2018). It is hence important for retailers to distinguish the brand in the marketplace by investing in innovative technology. Social media service is a fast-improving technology proposing consumers a convenient way of shopping and improving their experiences and intention to use. This technological proliferation involves new consumer learning and understanding before acceptance and eventually practice (Moreau et al., 2001). It can create functional, social, and experiential benefits for users that in turn can improve consumer-computer interaction. Social media as a competitive marketing tool deliver online platforms for retailers to get closer to their consumers/visitors/shoppers through continued interaction, however there is a lack of study on this area which examine the key values influence on continuance interaction intention ( Gan and Li, 2018; McCole et al., 2019; Shi et
Abtin & Pouramiri (2016) examined the impact of relationship marketing on customerloyalty enhancement (Case study: Kerman Iran insurance company). CustomerLoyalty has been used as dependent variable and Relationship Marketing (trust, satisfaction, management, communication, and competence) is used as independent variable. The data was collected from 155 customers of central branch of Kerman Iran insurance company. Pearson correlation coefficient technique has been used to analyze this relationship. The result shows that there was a significant, positive and direct relationship between variables. Firms need to use relationship marketing strategies as competitive advantage to keep its existing customers through long-term and stable relations and seeking feedback to improve their customer satisfaction and loyalty. In future research should check the effect of relationship marketing on customerloyalty with different population and contexts.
There have been various ways for marketers to implement relationship marketing tactics, which are expected to have impact on customer retention and loyalty. Some researchers suggested that relationship marketing tactics can be executed through service quality, price perception; value offered, alternative attractiveness, and so on. Tseng (2007) discussed that tactics as direct mail, tangible rewards, interpersonal communication, preferential treatment and membership could enhance long- term relationship and increase relationship satisfaction, trust and commitment. Peng & Wang (2006) also examined the application of relationship tactics in service quality, reputation (brand), price perception, value offers. Based on the early theories, certain relationship marketing tactics which are considered of importance in service industry, such as service quality, price perception, value offers and brand image, will be focused in the following parts.
Customerloyalty through their engagement is considered as a standout amongst the most compelling business measurements. For digitalmarketing, loyalty program is a fundamental action which should be kept in mind in order to create a brand recognition in the minds of consumers. Customized communications are responsible for ensuring higher retention rates. By utilizing client information, it is possible to anticipate future offers that need to be sent to their existing customers for keeping the clients alive and tied up with the organization (Mariani, 2015).
Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the most contributory explanatory variables among two independent variables that best predict customerloyalty. The study indicates that the relationship between self-congruity with sponsorship and customerloyalty is considered as weak, since self-congruity with sponsorship only explained 13.4 percent of the variance in customerloyalty. The study found out that customer involvement is the most contributory explanatory variable that explains 44.5 percent of the variance in customerloyalty. Therefore, the study suggested that the marketingcommunication campaign i.e. sponsorship should be developed to increase involvement of customers. That is, lots of activities should be incorporated into the events, which is hope might draw attention from the audience. Significant rewards may help in increasing the frequency of customer involvement at the event. The results of the study also suggest that by fostering deeper involvement from customers towards the event, the management may realize more positive attitudes of loyalty from its customers.
Small businesses can overcome the typical advantages of larger firms, such as market power and economies of scale, by being market-oriented (Alpkan et al., 2007). Narver and Slater (1990, p. 21; see also Kohli and Jaworski, 1990) define market orientation (MO) as “the organization culture that most effectively and efficiently creates the necessary behaviors for the creation of superior value for buyers and, thus continuous superior performance for the business.” While a substantial academic literature has examined MO, this work is theoretically limited with respect to the characteristics of small businesses (Blankson et al., 2006). MO for small businesses is not determined by formalized and complex planning processes organized around the generation, dissemination of, and response to marketing intelligence, as in larger organizations (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990). Small businesses strive to compete in global markets through MO that is built on their owner-managers’ insights, preferring pragmatic and intuitive generation, dissemination of, and response to marketing intelligence (Moriarty et al., 2008). The small business literature emphasizes the focal role of owner-managers to the nature and level of business conducted (Hult et al., 2003; Wilson and Stokes, 2004; Zontanos and Anderson, 2004). The owner-manager will be running the business, or be responsible to a large extent for its failure or success which can be critical to them achieving personal and business goals (Mazzarol et al., 2009).
Customer engagement has been attracting considerable attention among practitioners as well as academicians in recent years. Customer engagement is a concept that is being explored as a tool to facilitate predictive power of customer behavior including loyalty. Scholars have conceptualized engagement in varied forms including consumer and customer engagement, customer-brand engagement, community engagement, customer-medium engagement, engagement for co-creationistic. Such varied conceptualizations reﬂect evolving state of the construct. It also reﬂects on the growing interest among scholars from different viewpoints. Along with varied conceptualizations, there are diverse deﬁnitions of customer engagement proposed by marketing scholars. Deﬁnitions of customer engagement vary from “a psychological process” driving customerloyalty to “a consumer's state of being occupied, fully-absorbed or engrossed. “Customer brand engagement” as “the level of a customer's motivational, brand-related, and context-dependent state of mind characterized by speciﬁc levels of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral activity in brand interactions”. Further, “Digital brand engagement” has been conceptualized to comprise the dimensions of “sustained cognitive processing,” “instrumental value” (i.e., utility and relevance), and “experiential value” (i.e., emotional congruence with the narrative schema encountered in computer-mediated entities). Focused on the experiential aspects while deﬁning “media engagement” as “the sum of the motivational experiences consumers has with a media product.”