Retaining loyal customers in e-commerce - Winning customers is good, but keeping them is better

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GRIN Verlag, Feb 27, 2008 - Business & Economics - 38 pages
Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2007 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 1,5, Fontys University of Applied Sciences Venlo (Fontys University of Applied Science Venlo, the Netherlands), course: International Business and Management Studies, 40 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: “I know who you are, I remember you. I get you to talk to me. And then, because I know something about you, my competitors don't know, I can do something for you my competitors can't do - not for any price.” (Newell, 2000) In today’s business there is a shift of many companies away from a transactional mindset toward a relational mindset when it comes to dealing with customers. That is because researches proofed that nowadays for many companies profitability depends on the companies ability to develop and maintain long-term relationships with their clients (e.g. Lemon et al., 2002, pp.1-14). In order to gain a competitive edge, companies need to be customer-driven and able to serve their customers needs. Moreover, companies have to deliver a certain added value to exceed customer expectations and build strong relationships. In the traditional market, where face-to-face contact is possible, marketers get to know their clients personally. By personal contact, marketers have the possibility to build a personal relationship with their clients, figure out their needs and finally satisfy their needs by personalized services. As a result, customers are likely to stay with a company and the potential that they become loyal increases. However, the emergence of the internet and e-commerce makes it is very difficult for companies to build long-term relationships with customers. By means of the internet the personal contact to customers is abolished and a reduction of transaction costs is enabled, which in turn creates a new set of customer expectations. Therefore, the potential that customers will switch to the competition rises dramatically compared to traditional markets. This is because customers now have access to millions of different companies and they can easily compare different products 24 hours and seven days a week. In order to maintain strong customer relationships in the internet era the modified customer expectations need to be identified. Companies need to figure out what is influencing the satisfaction of customers and how to create loyalty. Competitive forces have to be considered to safeguard the business success. Furthermore, relationship bonds need to be created to encourage customers to remain in a relationship. All of the above will be examined within this report.
 

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