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Relationship Marketing Of Services: An Analysis Of Service Quality And Service Encounters Through Relational Norms -A Dyadic Approach Between Bank Account Managers And Smes -

  • Isabelle Prim-Allaz


    (COACTIS - Université Lumière - Lyon II : EA4161 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne)

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    The combined pressures of desintermediation, deregulation, and industrial restructuring have helped to redefine the nature and importance of bank-client relationships (Schell, 1996). Directors or treasurers of companies often recognize that their relationship is with the bank account manager, rather than with the bank (Wood & al., 1995). This is the reason why the role played by the service provider as the individual who manages the relationship between the firm and the buyer is of special importance (Czepiel, 1990). The essentially social nature of service encounters, a short-term phenomenon, provides the occasions in which buyer and seller negotiate the terms of their exchange relationship, a long-term phenomenon. Defined as the mutual recognition of special status between exchange partners, exchange relationships ensure efficiency for the buyer, as they mitigate market volatility for the seller. Understanding how economic exchange is played out against a background of social exchange can yield important insights, which can then be implemented by undertaking specific actions. One implication is that research must include both customer and provider perceptions and perspectives as the focal unit (Czepiel, 1990). Moreover, each purchase decision takes into account not only the immediate cost/benefit analysis but also the relationship past history and the possible future as well (Dwyer et al. 1987; Macneil, 1980). This paper aims, through exploratory research, (conducted on 13 dyads, 13 SMEs and their account managers) to analyze long-term relationships through a new framework to get a better understanding of how customers evaluate service quality, service encounters, and on how they decide whether or not to repatronize. It also aims to extend and develop the understanding of service quality perceptions and development. More specifically, this exploratory research has focused on four different objectives: • the author wanted to get a better in-depth knowledge of the banks' SME market; • there was a need to identify the main components of the creation and development of the relationship between a bank and its clients; • there was a need to confirm the reality of the relational norms as defined by Macneil; • finally, the author needed to get some verbatim for an upcoming questionnaire as well as identifying some potential difficulties for future research implementation. After a brief review of the theoretical background, this article presents the methodology used for this study. Then, there will be a presentation of the results of the two content analyses we have conducted. Finally the conclusion will present the limits of this work and research avenues will be drawn.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00470984.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Publication status: Published - Presented, 9TH WORKSHOP ON QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN SERVICES, 1999, Gothenburg, Sweden
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00470984
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