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Conclusion

Delivering on the promises of customer relationship management requires an appreciation of the importance of relationship marketing. The emergence of more powerful computers and more responsive and sophisticated profiling techniques are helping managers to identify the characteristics of potentially profitable customers, but such tools seem to concentrate exclusively on historic behaviours at the expense of seeking a better understanding of what drives ’true loyalty’. Drawing on the extant literature in the area of relationship marketing, this chapter espoused an enhanced model of CRM that incorporated a tripartite appreciation of effective service delivery, strong interpersonal relationships and attitudinal loyalty. In short, service quality was viewed as a key driver of relationship quality, which in turn was viewed as a key driver of customer loyalty.

The model highlighted the importance of capturing and integrating attitudinal preferences of customers in order to better facilitate CRM. In doing so, it highlighted the need to explore these constructs at their sub-dimension level, with careful consideration of how these dimensions translate to the electronic marketplace. For instance, while the physical environment would ordinarily provide cues regarding the quality of service that could be expected, in the online environment such cues are provided by the quality of the web site. Once understood, these dimensions and their associated measurement tools can play a vital role in improving the overall quality of an on-line firm’s relationship management efforts, as well as providing valuable metrics for assessing the ongoing health of these relationships.


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