Marketing Service Relationships: the Relative Role of Service Quality

Tomas Palaima, Jūratė Banytė

Abstract


Increasingly, firms recognize the value of close relationshipswith their customers because customer retentionin intensifying competition is more and more important.The paper analyses services quality in the new relationshipmarketing paradigm. The article is focused onAnglo-Australian approach to relationship marketing. Inthis research approach the integration of quality management,services marketing concepts and customer relationshipeconomics are emphasized.The article is organized in six parts. The first part isintroduction. In this part research problem, the aim antthe objectives are presented.In the second part different services quality modelsare analyzed in order to determine how these models areadequate to changing relationship marketing paradigm.The Adequacy of service quality GAP model, the perceivedservice quality model and the Gummeson 4Qmodel of offering quality is analyzed. The analysis revealsthat service quality models and instruments arelimited to evaluation of a service episode and are staticwhile relationship marketing paradigm requires dynamicapproach which could help to assess service quality inlong-term perspective along with other relationship qualitydimensions.In the third part V. Liljander – T. Strandvik relationshipquality model (1995) is analyzed in order toidentify its worth, weaknesses and strengths. The analysisreveals that this model is useful and helps to understandthe main relationship quality formation principles.Service quality in this model is treated not as asingle variable, but as a loyalty determinant belongingto the system of determinants influencing customer loyaltyand interacting with each other. Moreover, anotheradvantage is inclusion of customer behavior variablesin addition to the perceptual variables. However, theconstructs of this model are vaguely defined, there areonly several loyalty determinants, and model is theoretical.Literature analysis showed that there are moresignificant loyalty drivers therefore further analysis isrequired.In the fourth part are presented the main relationshipquality dimensions (loyalty drivers) identified analyzingand synthesizing scientific literature.In the fifth part different empirically tested modelsare analyzed in order to determine relative importance ofthese determinants on customer loyalty and to analyze theinteraction of theses determinants.


Keywords


services marketing, relationship marketing, quality.

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Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839