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Customer relationship investment and relationship strength: evidence from insurance industry in China
Guicheng Shi1; Huimei Bu1; Yuan Ping1; Matthew Tingchi Liu2; Yonggui Wang3
Source PublicationJournal of Services Marketing
ABS Journal Level2

Purpose – This study aims to elucidate how different relationship investment efforts by a service firm affect its customers’ perceived relationship investment; to determine how perceived relationship investment influences various dimensions of relationship strength; and to explore the moderating effects of customer innovativeness and complaint propensity on the relationship between the perceived relationship investment and relationship strength.

Design/methodology/approach – To minimize common method variance, data were collected from pairs of life insurance agents in China and their clients using self-report questionnaires. Hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings – The results indicate that customers value financial effort most followed by social effort and structural effort. Perceived relationship investment influences the affective strength most strongly, followed by cognitive strength and conative strength. Customer innovativeness and complaint propensity both moderate the effectiveness of perceived relationship investment in influencing two of the three dimensions of relationship strength.

Originality/value – This study is among the first to specify how service employees can guide consumer perceptions of relationship investment by applying three types of relationship investment effort. The impact of perceived relationship investment on different dimensions of relationship strength was assessed to demonstrate how service providers can benefit from investing in building consumer relationships. The moderating impact of consumer innovativeness and of complaint propensity was quantified. The research findings have important implications for managing different relationship investment as well as recruiting and training service employees.

KeywordCustomer Relationships Consumer Innovativeness Complaint Propensity Relationship Investment Relationship Strength
Indexed BySSCI
WOS Research AreaBusiness & Economics
WOS SubjectBusiness
WOS IDWOS:000378169800008
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
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Citation statistics
Cited Times [WOS]:16   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
Faculty of Business Administration
Corresponding AuthorHuimei Bu
Affiliation1.Department of Management, School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, Macao
2.Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau, Macau, Macao
3.Department of Marketing, Business School, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China
First Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Corresponding Author AffilicationUniversity of Macau
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Guicheng Shi,Huimei Bu,Yuan Ping,et al. Customer relationship investment and relationship strength: evidence from insurance industry in China[J]. Journal of Services Marketing,2016,30(2):201-211.
APA Guicheng Shi,Huimei Bu,Yuan Ping,Matthew Tingchi Liu,&Yonggui Wang.(2016).Customer relationship investment and relationship strength: evidence from insurance industry in China.Journal of Services Marketing,30(2),201-211.
MLA Guicheng Shi,et al."Customer relationship investment and relationship strength: evidence from insurance industry in China".Journal of Services Marketing 30.2(2016):201-211.
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