One of the most important features of a brand is the ability to create loyalty in customers which is considered the key in today’s business success. By increasing the customers’ loyalty, market share and profitability of a business increase accordingly. Today, the challenge that is faced by all the markers is to find a way to raise the customers’ loyalty and tomaintain them.
The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of the relationship marketing on brand loyalty of mobile phone buyers. This research is adopted a descriptive survey method, the data collection tool for this research is a questionnaire and all the questions are measured by Likert Scale. (With five options from completely agree to completely disagree).
The population of this research is the customers of the official agent of Samsung mobile phones in Busher province. The sample is chosen based on simple random sampling, and the sample size is 400 individuals (by applying Morgan table sampling). The questionnaire contains 40 questions that was distributed between the research population and the result formed the foundation for the research’s analysis.
In order to test the hypothesis and to analyse the gathered data, correlation, linear regression and hierarchy testswere used. The results of the test show that the variables of trust, commitment and communication that are among therelationship marketing components are important factors in the company – customers relationship and consequentlybuilding loyalty in customers. Another finding of this research shows that the relationship marketing has a meaningful influenceon customers’ overall satisfaction; nevertheless, the customer satisfaction does not adjust the relation between relationship marketing and customer loyalty.
Nowadays, by considering the increasing competition in the markets, companies are seeking new methods for increasing their sales, one of the most important method of those, is focusing on increasing the repurchase from the current customers (Oh, 2000, 136 ). Many organisations have realized that their existence and life depends on acquiring loyal customers. By adopting relation marketing approach, and while maintain a long-term relation with customers, companies can recognise, boost and improve those activities that are important and value adding to their businesses and attract more customers to their own originations and brands. (Morgan and Hunt, 1999)
After a comprehensive review of twenty-six definitions for relationship marketing (RM),Harker (1999),offered the following definition:“A company that is proactively engaged in making,developing and continuing profitable committed and interactive deals with its selected customers over the time, has applied relationship marketing”. According to Sin and others (2005), RM is a valuable tool to any organisation. In fact, RM isan integrated strategy and a process that enables a company to identify, select and eliminate its customers and by building and maintaining long-term relationships with customers that company can serve in a profitable way. (Shahin and Taimoori, 2007)
The structure of RM and its components differs in different studies,Sin and colleagues in their2005 research have recognisedtrust, communication, joint values, empathy and mutual effort as the most important fundamentals to RM.
On the other hand, brand loyalty plays a significant role in company’s long-term benefits. Organisation can gain a greater market share by RM owning to loyal customers continuously buy the brand and resist against the situational causes and competitors’ marketing attempts. However, David Acker believes that brand loyalty shows a probability of customers joining a completive brand, particularly when a brand makes changes in price and a product’s features. (Hussainin and Rahimi, 2009)
Developing new theories in order to understand the customer behaviour in smart phone marketis important as over the past years by entering different brands into the market with lower price, customer loyalty has decreased. This is because of product diversity, offering customers services, and raise in the number of smart phones makerscompanies. Different factors like increase of the consumers’ welfare, variety of consumer tastes, also offer competition in the smart phones market, have forced companies and businesses to keep the current customers at the first place and to win new customer secondly by offering extra services and develop competitive advantages.
The current research, investigates the effect of relationship marketing on to a specific smart phone brand. Therefore, in this paper we aim to answer the next question
What are the factors that are involved in customers’ satisfaction and loyalty to brand by considering relationship marketing?
For remainingin competitionand to gain a completive advantage, companies directors can expand their relations through managing each element of RM and boost loyalty in customers. In other words; when it comes to design strategies for building loyalty in customers, senior management must pay an appropriate attention to RM elements of trust, commitment, communications and customers satisfaction. In fact, directors must consider RM as an investment not a cost. Directors, have to build customers’ loyalty with developing adequate educational plans for employees, extending their perceptiontowards activities that through which RM can be applied, familiarising their employees with foundations of RM and understandingits importance. Trust, is one of the foundations of RM and an important factor in customers- company relationship and trust building as a result. Thus, companies must seek customers’ trust. Methods that can be applied by companies to reach this objective involve fulfilling obligations, attracting customers’ towards the company and its services, caring about customers and transactions security, speed of service, application of modern technologies in services, providing an attractive and relaxing environment and by applying innovation and creativity in services and the that those services are offered. Another factor for measuring RM is commitment that is a crucial element in building customers’ loyalty. Companies must be aware of power and ability of commitment in building loyal customers and acting accordingly. In this regard, companies should be coordinated with the customers’ needs and have to improve their products according to customers’ expectations and needs, to get feedback and attend to complaints, and to be flexible in their relations with clients. Communications represents another foundation of RM. Communications provides the context for preventing drop-down of customers.Customer’s loyalty can be won by providing right and on time information for them. Conferences and exhibitions can also help to create a closer relationship with customers. Creating an appropriate database and updating it is also very useful, as more a company gains completed information on customers there will be more opportunities for firming the communications with customers and offering them customised services. Moreover, demographic data analysis demonstrates that customers’ loyalty improves by aging. Hence, focusing on targeting younger generations is suggested here. Additionally, demographic data analysis shows by increasing the educational level the loyalty decreases. Therefore, we suggest when dealing with educated people greater consideration should be paid to RM foundations and in result to trust building in this kind of customers.
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