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Written by Paolo and Ottavia in 2004, “The Impact of Interpersonal Relationships on Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty to the Service Provider” highlights the main goal of the modern world customer-business relationships in relationship marketing. Currently, the literature on interpersonal relationships is widely researched. Previously, there was no exhaustive information that explicitly explained the factors that helped to develop customer loyalty from these relationships.
It is pertinent to note that human beings are social beings and therefore, they communicate and interact in a refined manner to develop networks, friendships and acquaintances. In business, especially in service provision industry; customer loyalty is deemed to develop in this manner and it is a particularly crucial factor for marketers to retain clients (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 369). Marketers are able to retain more customers because of the loyalty that develops.
Given the importance of human social interaction and communication between customers and the service providers or those running the businesses, relationship marketing is a unique field of study. This nature of marketing is built on the concept that, it is easy to retain and strengthen the relationship that exists between the business and current customers rather than seeking new clients.
This approach has a principal goal of building customer loyalty (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 367). As a result, understanding the way this goal is achieved and the reason why customer loyalty is developed is critical in business management.
Paolo and Ottavia cite the relevant researches that address the nature of the relationship between clients and the front-line employees, particularly in the service industry can enhance loyalty. Therefore, the professional dimension of interaction, as well as the social dimension, significantly impact on the client’s first impression and therefore, the perception of the quality of services or goods offered.
Even for the business-to-business interactions, effective interpersonal commitments are particularly vital for holding individuals involved in business networks together rather than the businesses themselves (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 374). Businesses are hence places for ‘social bonding’, and they, either directly or indirectly, bring out relational outputs, which market a firm hence, developing customer commitment and trust, as well as co-operation.
Significance of the Article
The article is an indispensable work of the nature of communication and interaction of people. In the modern world, where businesses are aggressively marketing themselves and inventing ways to develop customer loyalty, it is necessary to understand how loyalty can be attained.
Interpersonal relationships, as influenced by the nature of communication, hence become a central topic of study (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 376). This article provides the knowledge of how customer loyalty usually develops and well as the reason why such dedication grows based on communication.
The article has used previous studies, and emerging knowledge to explore the function that interpersonal relationships factors have been playing in developing customer loyalty to a certain business.
The article shows that the business itself can lack the features to do that, but the frontline employees have personified the idea of developing friendship, showing concern, care, paying attention, and treating customers with a high level hospitality. Therefore, the paper shows that interpersonal loyalty is much better than brand loyalty or point of sale dedication.
Enlightenment and Knowledge Enhancement
This paper opened my perception of the personal selling and the significance of personal relationship with customers. I now appreciate the social exchange brought about by the social exchange relationships that result in economic advantage. Since there have been a proliferation of many different brands of most of the products on the market, to survive in the new economy, innovativeness is crucial.
Therefore, this understanding helps me to realize that a different way of succeeding can be achieved by concentrating on interpersonal friendship rather than focusing only on things like brand loyalty. Relationships between the people involved can have a positive impact on the customer satisfaction or perception of quality of services and hence, loyalty to the company.
It is pertinent to appreciate that strong interpersonal relationship between the customer and the person representing the company as the marketer appreciably influences the customers’ perception of the company. Good quality communication like high level of hospitality and customer centric service can foster customer satisfaction and dedication to the company (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 379).
These factors also build customer repurchase intent, readiness and confidence to recommend the product or service to others. Having longtime buyer –company relationship is appropriate for business; therefore, understanding the nature of communication between sellers and buyer need more attention in business management.
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With proper communication, which enhances development of friendships and business networks, interpersonal relationship has been a fundamental concept in the modern business world. This is because the new trend of business seeks to establish long-term, reciprocally beneficial to clients and businesses.
Important Questions Raised By the Author
The main objective of the paper was to explore the implication if having personal relationships in business and the impact on customer loyalty to the business. The main goal of this article is to explore the role played by interpersonal-relationship factors in gaining and developing customer loyalty to the company.
The author sought to find what factors of the customer-frontline personnel relationship resulted in long-term friendship with the business (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 376). As such, issues like trust, confidence, hope and satisfaction were identified as essential for the interpersonal interaction.
Another crucial question raised by the author was how loyalty develops in customers when they experience healthy interpersonal relationship. It is believed that when clients have close ties with the company personnel like the service employees, they share a lot with regard to the business, and the customers feel exceptionally comfortable, confident, and trusting. It is believed that, behavioral loyalty leads to repeat purchase and recommending of services to others (Paolo & Ottavia, 2004, p. 379).
The basic question raised was whether relationships in the real sense lead to customer loyalty to the firm as assumed. As social beings, customers would rather interact with people they have known as friends. Therefore, customers affirmed that they would follow a service worker they had a friendship with to another company if he/she were to move. This means their loyalty is not per se because of quality of service or products.
Paolo, G., & Ottavia, P. (2004). The Impact of Interpersonal Relationships on Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty to the Service Provider. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 15(4), 365 – 384.