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The Impact of Interpersonal Relationship between Customer and Staff on Customer Commitment

Author: SongShuZuo
Tutor: LiuRuiMing; DongDaHai
School: Dalian University of Technology
Course: Business management
Keywords: interpersonal relationship between customer and staff Staff commitment Customer commitment to the enterprise Staff trust Staff service quality
CLC: F274
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 72
Quote: 0
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Abstract


Relationship marketing has become one of the important Paradigm, which guide the development of service provider. As the highest state of relationship development, customer commitment is taken as one of the critical goals of relationship marketing. So the exploring of the antecedents of customer commitment is of great significance for service providers. Although there are much results on this field, few comes from the view of the interpersonal relationship between individual customer and individual service staff.The high psychology contact between customer and staff is one of the important charateristics in service industry, and it is easier to build close interpersonal relationship, especially in professional service. The research of interpersonal relationship is relatively absent and needs more exploring. The literatures state that the interpersonal relationship between customer and staff affects the overall assessment of the service, but more attention should be paid to the impact of interpersonal relationship on the relationship between customer and service company.Chinese "Gunxi" refers to the interpersonal relationship. With the development of China in economy and international status, more and more papers are focus on the Chinese’Guanxi’ in academic filed both at home and abroad. According to the existing researches, the "Guanxi" is defined as the "Guanxi" between organizations" boundary spanners, or the general social capital of them in the field of B2B. Few research focuses on the interpersonal relationship between customers and service staff in the B2C field. Due to the different role of the subjects in different circumstance, the interpersonal relationship between customer and staff differs from "Guanxi".This study deepens the research of interpersonal relationship in the professional service field in China, and explores the mechanism of its impact on customer commitment.Three aspects of research work have been conducted:First, based on the attitude theory, this paper defines the interpersonal relationship between customer and staff both on the cognition and emotion. The interpersonal relationship between customer and staff is the psychological connection between customer and the specific service staff providing the service, which is formed on the basis of personal emotion and cognition toward the other part in the process of service interaction. The three dimensions are closeness, liking and general recognition, in which the "Guanxi" dimensions of relational norms such as renqing and face are abandoned, the cognitive dimension is developed, forming a new perspective to explore the relationships between customer and boundary spanner of enterprises Through field investigation to professional service consumers, the reliability and validity of the scale was empirically tested. So the study deepens the research of interpersonal relationship in business environment and enriches the localization of interpersonal relationship study, laying thoretical foundation for future related research.Secondly, on the basis of scale developed, the model of the interpersonal relationship impacting customer commitment was conducted. Based on social judgement theory and role theory, the relationship between customer and service staff is divided into two parts: interpersonal relationship and the individual relationship of service, or interpersonal relationship between customer and staff, stuff trust and staff commitment. With the structural equation method it is verified that the interpersonal relationship not only affects the customer commitment to the enterprise through staff-trust and staff-commitment, but also affects it directly, although weaker. Conclusion shows the significance of interpersonal relationship to the long-term relationship between customer and organization, and reveals the internal connections between the customer-enterprise relationship levels. Stuff trust and stuff commitment as partial but significant mediator should also be recognized The study enriches the research of antecedents of customer commitment from the perspective of interpersonal relationships, and provides theory evidence for enterprises to strengthen their customer commitment through interpersonal relationship.At last, the study probes and verifies the moderating variables between the key variables in the model, so that the specific conditions of the affecting mechanism were studied. Interpersonal relationship is two-edged to enterprises, for it brings risk while strengthens the customer-enterprise relationship. Much work has warned the risk brought by the turnover of key stuff, but positive suggestion is absent. The study discovered the moderating role of staff service quality to interpersonal relationship and personal commitment, and also corporate reputation to stuff commitment and customer commitment to the enterprise, which explains the conditions of the translation from interpersonal relationship to customer-organization relationship, and is practical for the professional service providers to overcome the turnover risk actively.

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