Key factors, such as globalization and the development of information technologies, have forced some firms to change their approach to customer relationship management, particularly within the new competitive framework of online channels. In this context, customer relationship proneness may guide relationship quality (RQ) by keeping commercial relations alive. This research proposes and examines a conceptual model using a comprehensive management approach that includes market orientation (MO), knowledge management (KM), and perceived relationship investment (PRI) as perceived by customers, which, when available, enhance RQ in an online context. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the effect of RQ on CRP, making a unique contribution to better understanding the continuity of customer–firm relationships.
The proposed conceptual model is tested in two different cultures and economic stages, providing relevant insights on the cross-cultural relationship marketing literature. Survey questionnaires are administered to a sample of Spanish and Mexican banking customers, and structural equation modeling, using partial least squares, is used to analyze the data collected.
The results show that, in both countries, CRP is significantly influenced by RQ, while PRI should be considered when improving the quality of customer relationships. However, intangible aspects (such as the level of MO or KM) seem to be relevant in more mature, competitive markets whose customers show a higher level of LTO.
In terms of practical applications, banks must recognize that customers give different priorities to different capabilities and resources based on their perceptions of the RQ. Hence, banks should give clear priorities to commercial strategies aimed at improving RQ. Implications of the results are discussed, and future research avenues suggested.
Factors such as globalization, growing competitiveness, and the development of information technologies are changing the dynamics of relationship marketing (RM). The new competitive framework, defined by the relevance of online channels, has changed how relationship management with consumers is approached.
Researchers have agreed that RM is a form of customer-centric marketing, which emphasizes understanding and satisfaction of the needs and wants of individual consumers, rather than those of mass markets (Kasiri, 2017; Khan, 2014). However, in order to maintain such long-term relationships, it is not sufficient to simply offer better goods and services to satisfy customers’ needs. In order to survive in today's competitive market, firms must attempt to connect with customers by offering permanent contact and better experiences as a differentiating strategy (Berry and Carbone, 2007; Bolton et al., 2014; Thakur, 2016).