Relationship quality antecedents: the Malaysian retail banking perspective
Purpose - The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of relationship marketing (RM) underpinnings namely, trust, commitment, communication and conflict handling on the quality of firm-customer relationship as well as the levels of contribution of these underpinnings. Design/methodology/approach - The model of relationship quality based on literature was developed and tested empirically among customers of retail banks in Malaysia. A structured questionnaire was used in the study. Sample selection was based on a systematic random sampling technique. Factor and multivariate analyses techniques were used to process the data. Findings - The findings of the study support most of the hypothesized relationships. There is a significant positive relationship between trust, commitment and conflict handling on relationship quality. The independent variables contribute differentially to relationship quality. Research limitations/implications - The relationship marketing underpinnings can predict relationship quality well. Banks can build and maintain quality customer relationship through trust, commitment and conflict resolution. The outcome of the study can help banks in developing effective strategies for enhancing the quality of firm-customer relationships and in designing and delivering banking service strategies, tactics, and training programmes that would enable bank employees and managers to function effectively as relationship builders, nurturers, managers, and custodians in service settings. Originality/value - It has been suggested that in order to keep customers loyal, firms should constantly improve overall relationship quality. However, little is understood about the key antecedents of relationship quality and the actual contributions of each of these antecedents from a relationship marketing viewpoint. By comparing the levels of contributions of the RM underpinnings, banks are now able to decide on the level of attention and effort to be assigned to each, based on their importance.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
Business and Management not elsewhere classified