Author: So, Ho-fai Stanley
Title: Relationship marketing and business performance in professional services: an investigation of the life insurance industry in mainland China
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Insurance, Life -- China
Customer services -- China
Relationship marketing -- China
Department: Department of Business Studies
Pages: iii, 145, [9] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Understanding how to establish and maintain mutually beneficial buyer-seller relationships is becoming a prominent topic in the marketing literature (Berry, 1995). Relationship marketing has been defined in various ways. Despite the popularity of relationship marketing, a review of the contemporary literature shows that different researchers have their own definitions or explanations. Therefore, this research tries to identify how to develop successful client-agent relationship. In many of the relationship marketing studies already carried out, the conceptual frameworks were specifically built for industrial markets. However, there are not many relationship marketing models which focus on professional services. Specifically, life insurance is one of the professional services that strongly emphasize interpersonal relationship development. Mainland China is one of the most prosperous insurance markets. This study, which focuses on investigating the life insurance industry in Mainland China, will be of great interest to those foreign insurers that are preparing to enter this market. The three specific objectives of the research are as follows: (1) to identify the behavior that agents ought to focus on in order to enhance the quality of their relationship with their clients; (2) to identify the key dimensions of relationship quality perceived by the clients; and (3) to identify the consequences of a high quality relationship. Firstly, six factors are identified when factor analysis was run. The stipulated domains include responsiveness, shared understanding, company disclosure, personal disclosure, adaptation and cooperative intention. Three-stage regression analysis is then used to test the hypotheses. The results show that all the behavioral factors are significantly related to satisfaction except company disclosure. Satisfaction is hypothesized to be positively related to trust and the data support the hypothesis. The study then test whether there is any significant relationship between high quality of relationship (trust) and loyalty. The regression results of the study indicate that trust is found to be positively related to loyalty.
Access: open access

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