Factorial and discriminant analyses of the underpinnings of relationship marketing and customer satisfaction
Purpose - This research seeks to empirically evaluate the influence of the underpinnings of relationship marketing on the perceived quality of bank-customer relationship, and on customer satisfaction in the Malaysian banking sector. Design/methodology/approach - A field survey of bank customers in Malaysia was conducted using a questionnaire. The data were factor-analysed to determine the key dimensions of RM. The resulting dimensions were applied in the subsequent discriminant analyses conducted to determine which factors discriminate between customers on the basis of perceived bank-customer relationship quality and customer satisfaction. Findings - The results show that five key dimensions, namely: competence, communication, conflict handling, trust, and relationship quality, discriminate between customers in terms of perceived relationship quality and customer satisfaction. Moreover, overall bank-customer relationship quality discriminates between satisfied customers and those who are not. Research limitations/implications - This study was conducted in a bank setting, and may not be generalised in other industries. It has also not considered the impact of the relationship management underpinnings on customer loyalty. However, by employing these constructs, and replicating this study in other industries, researchers would be able to unveil the factors that discriminate between loyal customers and those who are not, and also produce more generic results. Practical implications - Findings suggest that banks can create customer satisfaction by exhibiting trustworthy behaviour, showing genuine commitment to service, communicating information to customers efficiently and accurately, delivering services competently, handling potential and manifest conflicts skilfully, and improving overall customer relationship quality. Originality/value - Interest in the subjects of relationship marketing and customer satisfaction has been growing among marketing researchers and practitioners. This study adds value by unveiling the key antecedents of relationship quality and customer satisfaction (using the relationship management approach) that can be used in customer relationship management. Customer relationship management itself enables organisations to leverage on privileged information gained through closeness to customers.
International Journal of Bank Marketing
Marketing not elsewhere classified