The role of customer gratitude in making relationship marketing investments successful

Fazal e Hasan, Syed, Lings, Ian N., Neale, Larry, & Mortimer, Gary (2014) The role of customer gratitude in making relationship marketing investments successful. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(5), pp. 788-796.

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This paper recognises that customer loyalty is important for many competitive organisations, and that retail firms make investments to build and maintain loyal relationships with their existing and potential customers (e.g. loyalty programs). However, there has been little focus on the mechanisms by which these relationship investments operate to achieve customer loyalty. This paper examines one mechanism, namely customer gratitude, which works to make a firm’s relationship marketing investment a success or a failure. Using data from 1600 undergraduate students, this study empirically confirms the mediating role of customer gratitude between the customers’ perceptions a firm’s relationship marketing investments and customers’ perceptions of the value of the relationship with the firm. Further, a significant moderating effect of perceived benevolence on the relationship between customers’ perceptions a firm’s relationship marketing investments and customer gratitude was identified. For theorists, this customer gratitude model offers a better psychological explanation of how relationship marketing investments operate to improve the value that customers place on their relationships with retailers. Our research suggests that managers should invest resources to stimulate customer gratitude in order to build strong customer–seller relationships.

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ID Code: 74895
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Customer Relationship Management, Relationship Value, Loyalty Programs, Relationship Investments, Benevolence, Gratitude
DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2014.06.007
ISSN: 0969-6989
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development (150501)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in PUBLICATION, [VOL , ISSUE , (DATE)] DOI:
Deposited On: 12 Aug 2014 01:40
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2014 04:48

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