Services and Relationship Marketing Management: Research Review Report Name University Introduction In today’s highly competitive and fast changing global business environment, businesses are increasingly becoming responsive to market trends developing a strategy towards sustainability and enhanced profitability…
Relationship marketing refers to the process of identifying and establishing, sustaining, enhancing, and when deemed necessary, ending relationships with customers and other organizational stakeholders at a gain; in doing so, all the parties involved achieve their objectives. In the pursuit of all these, mutual giving and fulfillment of promises becomes a focal point in businesses, thus making relationship marketing a very crucial aspect in the services and relationship marketing management of firms today. Relationship marketing is beneficial to firms because it is an effective way of fostering customer loyalty and re-patronage behavior; consumers who are actively engaged in relational exchanges present with higher levels of satisfaction than those who are in discrete transactions. These higher levels of satisfaction could be attributed to the ease and psychological comfort that consumers will tend to have because of purchasing from a familiar company. In this regard, many companies consider investments in complaint handling a strategic route of increasing customer commitment to the firms and building customer loyalty that lasts as long as both parties are in business. Service firms are prone to mistakes that oftentimes result in regrettable service failures that are potentially harmful to their profitability and market reputation; in this regard, service failures present the firms an opportunity to demonstrate excellent service experience and ensure customer retention. However, the service recovery paradox states that customers are more likely to leave a service failure more satisfied and loyal to their firms than when there is no service failure, so long as their problem is resolved efficiently. This paper presents a critical review of 3 peer-reviewed journal articles with an aim of establishing whether customer loyalty is considered a critical antecedent to the success of post-recovery satisfaction, whether compensation is always necessary in service recovery, and whether the “service recovery paradox” is influenced by the severity of the service failure. Review After a systematic, intensive, and extensive research review, it has emerged that indeed customer loyalty is a critical precursor to the success of post-recovery satisfaction, compensation is always necessary in service recovery, and the severity of the service failure influences the “service recovery paradox” accordingly. According to Tax, Brown, and Chandrashekaran (1998), recovering effectively from service failures contributes remarkably to customer evaluations of firms. Firms that engage in effective complaint handling strategies have extremely high customer retention rates, which eventually deflect the impact of bad publicity from damaging word of mouth, thereby achieving increased outcomes in terms of increased returns on investment, among other positive outcomes. A case study in the article recorded $11 million of additional revenue in a fiscal year, apart from the highest customer retention rate in the industry, after having implemented a service guarantee that was part of an initiative to ensure customer problems are dealt with effectively (Tax, Brown, & Chandrashekaran, 1998). Effective resolution of customer problems and relationship marketing lead to customer satisfaction, enhanced trust, and commitment; complaint handling strategies particularly in managing customer relationships in service businesses are very crucial in today’ ...
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