Reflections on Relationship. Marketing in Consumer Markets. Richard R Bagozzi. University of Michigan. Before I begin my commentary on Jagdish Sheth and. EBSCOhost serves thousands of libraries with premium essays, articles and other content including Reflections on Relationship Marketing in Consumer Markets. With the concept of relationship marketing approaching a stage of maturity, also become a key topic in leading books on consumer behavior (Sheth, Mittal & . allocation and prioritization of selected market segments (see Rapp , in this.
From this brief comparison of the two cultures, it appears that South Korean consumers may have vastly different views of customer-business relationships as compared to consumers in the United States. Our study has both theoretical and practical implications in that "relationship marketing is at the very core of the theory and practice of marketing" Bagozzip. By business we refer to and focus on both service providers and retailers but not on brands.
In addressing these issues, we focused on the customer-business relationships considered most important to the consumer because these are the types of relationships that consumers care about, can most easily talk about, and work at retaining. Thus, studying important relationships better allows us to capture the factors relating to relationship maintenanceBan area which has received little attention in the past Berry Furthermore, these relationships may reveal which businesses are most important to consumers, which is an important question in itself.
In an international context, we are interested in whether these factors and the most important relationships identified are similar across two diverse cultures B the United States and South Korea. While Barnes has noted that it is not evident what kinds of relationships customers want from firms, a comparison of consumers in two different cultures may reveal that what is wanted from a firm may be culture-specific.
Questions which remain unanswered in this area and which this study will address include: The exploratory nature of the study dictated a research design, which emphasized discovery over confirmation Deshpande The CIT method allows discovery-oriented research Wells while quantitatively identifying underlying factors present in discussions of specific incidents.
Thus, this technique allows for "rigor and vigor" Bitner et al.
This method is particularly well suited to research a phenomenon about which little is known Bitner et al. The CIT methodology involves the content analysis of stories or descriptions in the data analysis stage of the research. In CIT, the stories written by respondents are classified within a scheme.
Reflections on Relationship Marketing in Consumer Markets
As a research method, it shares the advantages and disadvantages of content analysis Kassarjian ; Kolbe and Burnett In addition to allowing for qualitative and quantitative analysis, the CIT method was chosen because personal contact is a better method when the research involves a lengthy questionnaire and where other methods such as mail or telephone are difficult to implement or less acceptable from a cultural perspective such as in Southeast Asia Webster We used a modified critical incident technique given our goals and subject matter.
The traditional Critical Incident Technique as described by Flanagan was expanded from one incident to discussions of an overall relationship. The nature of customer-business relationships requires that the responses not be limited to one particular incident.
Using the modified critical incident technique, we were able to identify and compare unique factors characteristic of successful business relational experiences between respondents in the United States and South Korea.
Reflections on Relationship Marketing in Consumer Markets
Such a modified approach has been successfully used in other studies cf. Nevins ; Reich Data Collection A convenience sample of adults was recruited by trained student interviewers in a metropolitan southern city in the United States and in Seoul, Korea. All research in South Korea was conducted by one of the co-authors who is bilingual. Translations were handled carefully and all administration procedures conformed between countries.
Each interviewer was asked to recruit five, non-student respondents over the age of 21 who reported having a relationship with a business. All those contacted verified their participation. Respondents were asked to complete questions on a standardized form with the interviewer present. This method preservs the language of the respondent Flanagan while allowing the benefit of in-person interviewing for clarification if needed. Respondents were provided with a long list of possible service providers and retailers with which consumers might have a customer-business relationship.
This was drawn from previous research Spake et al. The respondents were not limited to discussions of the list of businesses they were given, but were encouraged to respond based on their own experiences. The following question was asked of all respondents and each respondent was asked to write his or her own answers on the questionnaire: Please provide a complete and detailed description.
Classification of Characteristics Once the data were collected, the open-ended responses were coded by multiple, trained, independent judges to enhance objectivity Koble and Burnett Previous research Ellis ; Spake et al.
The independent judges were provided clear, concise definitions and words that had been grouped in previous research Spake et al. The judges were instructed to classify responses into the a priori categories and add other, additional categories, which described characteristics of important customer-business relationships as needed. These interviews were not included in the final U.
This same procedure was used with South Korean judges. Again, pre-test interviewers were not included in the final South Korean sample. Each judge classified all responses individually. Since each consumer respondent provided a lengthy description of his or her most important relationship, multiple characteristics within individual descriptions of each relationship were common. After individual classification was achieved, the judges met as a group to reconcile any classification differences until consensus was achieved for all descriptions and classification categories.
Using this process, a new category, cooperation, was created based on the responses obtained from South Korean consumers. Examples of the type of responses that were captured in each of the categories appear in Table 1. As shown in Table 2, approximately one-half of the respondents in both the United States and South Korea were between the ages of 21 to 34 and one-half were above the age of The interviewers collected descriptions of customer-business relationships across a variety of business types.
The important business relationships most frequently mentioned by Americans were physicians or other types of health care providers, banks, hair salons, and car repair shops see Table 4.
These characteristics all seem fairly obvious in meaning with the exception of cooperation, which needs additional clarification. Only South Korean respondents discussed cooperation as an important customer-business characteristic.
It is beneficial, in general, to serve customers over a longer time, especially in a contractual relationship. However, it is not clear whether some of the findings observed in a contractual setting hold The Behavioral Consequences of Service Quality.
The authors offer a conceptual model of the impact of service quality on particular behaviors that Welcome to the Bazaar. We explore reasons for this complex problem In their "mandating" role, governments at different levels must define minimum standards for business performance embedded within the legal framework. It states that the goal of transaction marketing is to get customers, whereas the goal of relationship As organizations face intense competition, mature markets, and shrinking margins, relationship marketing has become a necessary marketing initiative for retaining valuable customers.
Market through existing customers. The author suggests that to be able to beat competition, a business should exceed expectations of the customer.