Attaining High Levels of Customer Satisfaction and Customer Retention through Relationship Marketing in the Bulgarian Steel Industry
University of Wales
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Relationship marketing has been actively discussed by many scholars as an important determinant of attaining high customer satisfaction and customer retention in today’s high competitive global environment. Both are often seen as a key driver of company’s improved competitiveness, long-term results and overall success. This study first reviews the concept of relationship marketing and its importance. Furthermore, all aspects of customer satisfaction and customer retention are discussed in details, as well as various relationship marketing strategies used by the companies to achieve them. Although there are a great number of investigations on the different relationship marketing tactics and their impact on companies’ performance, they are specific to the context of the different industries. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to empirically investigate the effect of relationship marketing on customer satisfaction and customer retention in the business to business industry and is based on a sample of business relationships in the steel distribution industry in Bulgaria. This study has adapted a deductive approach. A quantitative study of customer’s perspective about this subject was conducted to find out their preferences of various relationship marketing tactics and what could be the main incentives for higher level of customer satisfaction, retention and repurchase behavior. A questionnaire has been launched through e-mail and online survey websites. Throughout this research the author have concluded that although relationship marketing is not very popular in Bulgarian steel distribution industry, there is evidence that through a successful using of its mechanisms, there could be achieved superior customer satisfaction and customer retention. The findings from the study show that all of the reviewed relationship marketing tactics are positively related both objectives – customer satisfaction and customer retention. However, the results indicated that some of the customer services are found to be less correlated to them. In addition there was provided recommendations for improvements in the area, as well suggestions for further research.
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