Building Customer Commitment

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  1. Introduction

Commitment is as an essential ingredient for successful long-term relationships. Developing a customer’s commitment in business relationship does pay off in increased profits, customer retention, willingness to refer and recommend. In relationship marketing literature, commitment has widely been acknowledged to be an integral part of any long-term business relationship (Anderson and Weitz 1992). In most case it is described as a kind of lasting intention to build and maintain a long-term relationship (Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh 1987).      

  1. Customer commitment definition

Commitment has been defined as “an implicit or explicit pledge of relational continuity between exchange partners” (Dwyer, Schurr and Oh 1987). It is believed to imply a willingness to make short-term sacrifices to realize long-term benefits (Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh 1987). According to Anderson and Weitz (1992), committed partners are willing to invest in valuable assets specific to an exchange, demonstrating that they can be relied upon to perform essential functions in the future.

Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh (1987) propose that “the buyer’s anticipation of high switching costs gives rise to the buyer’s interest in maintaining a quality relationship.  Commitment may be generated by the buyer’s anticipation of high switching costs. Morgan and Hunt (1994) also posit that firms that receive superior benefits from their partnership, relative to other options, on such dimensions as product profitability, customer satisfaction, and product performance, will be committed to the relationship.

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Despite the fact that commitment is a central construct in the area of relationship marketing, there is little agreement on the nature of the construct. Frequently, commitment is defined as a desire to maintain a relationship (Morgan and Hunt 1994). Sometimes it is conceptualized as a “pledge of continuity” from one party to another (Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh 1987). Others have put forward that the root of commitment lies in sacrifice or the potential for sacrifice that a party faces in the event that the relationship ends (Anderson and Weitz 1992) or the forsaking of alternative options (Gundlach, Achrol, and Mentzer ...

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