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Relationship Marketing

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This essay is a critical literature review of Relationship Marketing in relation to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. In this review, I will provide a brief orientation of relationship marketing; identify the different dimensions of relationship marketing and critically analyse the concept of relationship marketing with regards to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Leahy (2011:651) defined relationship marketing as ‘attracting and keeping customers for a long period of time’. Relationship marketing is used by firms to change consumer attitudes and increase the frequency of purchase in a business using marketing techniques such as promotions and advertising. According to Ndubisi and Chan (2005), relationship marketing provides an organisation with the opportunity to think beforehand in order to get access to the right information about their customers, meet the customers’ needs effectively, efficiently and gain competitive advantage. As a result globalisation, Geddie et al. (2005) viewed relationship marketing through the prism of technology because businesses have the opportunity to store vital information about their customers’ shopping habits in their databases thereby, using the data to their advantage in rendering a better customer service and establishing a long-term sustainable relationship with their customers and this might result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Peppers et al. (1999) referred to relationship marketing as ‘one-to-one marketing’ and suggested that businesses must be dynamic and fast in their approach and response to individual customers’ needs that are ever-changing and unpredictable. Therefore, organisations must be prepared to provide bespoke products or services that ...

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..., Leahy (2011) notes that even if a firm using databases that has allowed them to reach all their customers, that does not mean they are maintaining the relationship with their customers successfully.

Yet a customer’s perception of relationship is not rated highly neither is it valued because customers view it ‘impersonal’ and they are very suspicious of the firm’s motives (Leahy, 2011:453). With technology, firms have been able to contact customers about adverts and promotions but that does not mean an active relationship exists between both parties. Customers interest in what brands have to offer them and is of a great interest to them et, they don’t value firms trying to establish a relationship with them. It might help if firms decide to look at other avenues of trying to reach out and establish close relationships with their customers so it can be effective.
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