An integration of customer value and customer relationship in urban centres and peripheries
The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of customer values in building customer relationships with regard to the urban factor. This paper seeks to empirically explain how the urban factor affects customer preferences as the differences between customers from urban centres and those from the peripheries are still notable despite globalization and cultural levelling. The article presents a theoretical framework explaining the role of customer value in building customer relationship. In this sense, customer value follows the general rules stipulating the business-customer relationship and includes steps such as trust building, commitment, satisfaction and loyalty. After grounding the theoretical construct, it is tested using a data set of 364 customers across Lithuania. Exhaustive CHAID (Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector) is used for model testing and re-classification. The results from this study report that there are statistically significant differences between customers’ preferences in urban centres and in the periphery. The decision made by the customer to stay loyal to a business has a certain logical dependency. For customers in urban centres, functional value needs to be supplemented by emotional value. Only such a composition of values encourages them to remain loyal to the business. On the other hand, customer loyalty in the periphery is determined by high trust in business, customer commitment and perceived social value. The value of this paper lies in its original theoretical construct where customer value and customer relationship have an effect on customer loyalty, as well as in testing this construct in relation to the urban factor. Additionally, research implications suggest that the findings may be important for business practice and business studies.
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Rasa Smaliukiene - Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Faculty of Creative Industries; General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Department of Strategic Management, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Svajone Bekesiene - General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Department of Defence Technologies, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Gabriele Lipciute - Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Faculty of Business Management, Vilnius, Lithuania.