Towards Relational Exchange in Services Marketing: Insights from Hospitality Industry
Relationships are forming new bases for achieving competitive advantage in the changing business scenario. Service organizations of all types and sizes are shifting their focus from transactional exchange to relational exchange. With the growing realization about the benefits of being a “relationship oriented organization”, marketing strategies are designed to incorporate technical and behavioural features of service solution, which are essential to create a satisfying, pleasurable and memorable customer experience. Adopting a customer centric approach allows the service firm to effectively utilize all its resources to create a desired customer experience. Trust, commitment, ethical practices, fulfillment of promises, mutual exchange, emotional bonding, personalization and customer orientation have been reported to be the key elements in the relationship building process. The present study analyses important dimensions of relational exchange and presents insights from an empirical study of hotels regarding practices adopted for customer relationship management. Nine factors governing CRM effectiveness in hotel industry have emerged from the factor analysis which strongly emphasizes the need for humanizing people, process and technology to build emotional bond with the customers.