||In recent years, the similar goods and services provided by various financial institutions lead to more intense competition in the industry. In order to retain the competitive advantage, financial institutions must continue to create the high-quality services, to access to customer information frequently, to maintain long-term mutually beneficial relationship with customers, and to retain customers by the well-arranged customer relationship management. Solomon, Surprenant, Czepiel and Gutman (1985) indicated that in the context of pure services, the main factor affecting the customer satisfaction and repeat patronage is the contact quality between service providers and customers. Keaveney (1995) proposed that in the process of transaction, the interaction quality of service providers and customers is associated with the salesperson behavior. Therefore, establishing an integrated framework of relationship quality that can be applied to the financial services is helpful in assisting the operators in the simplification of implementation procedures.
Banking institutions in Taiwan engage in managing financial services, and their salespersons, also known as financial advisers or financial specialists, need to cultivate long-term relationships with customers in order to push the business, which tallies with the background of this study on the nature of the business. Therefore, the study takes the customers who frequently devote themselves to managing finances with banks in Taiwan as the research subjects. The banks sampled in the study were from six different institutions for which six EMBA students studying in a private university in Taipei are working. After one-month’s collection, 450 questionnaires were returned with 315 copies valid. In order to understand the cause and effect relationship among the variables, AMOS 7.0 was used to conduct the analysis of Structural Equation Modelling.
The results show that the interaction intensity, mutual disclosure, and cooperative intention of relationship selling behavior have positive effects on relationship quality. Service domain expertise of salesperson characteristics has a positive effect on relationship quality, while the similarity has a negative effect on relationship quality. This study supposes that the effect of similarity only works in short-term or a single transaction sales relationship between salespersons and customers, not in long-term contexts, so the similarity between the salespersons and customers does not significantly affect the relationship quality, which is consistent with the work of Crosby, Evans, and Cowles (1990). Finally, relationship quality has a positive effect on customer retention.
Keywords: Relationship Selling Behavior, Salesperson Characteristics, Relationship Quality, Customer Retention.