Relational benefits and customer satisfaction – a South African short-term insurance industry perspective
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South African short-term insurers struggle to maintain and grow market share due to industry competitiveness and decreasing customer retention rates. One way of retaining customers is to establish and maintain long-term relationships with them. For relationships to last, customers should derive benefits from these relationships. It is furthermore professed that the relational benefits that customers gain from customer-business relationships positively impact customer satisfaction, which in turn enhances the quality of these relationships. This paper aims to determine whether relational benefits (confidence, social and special treatment benefits) predict customer satisfaction in the South African short-term insurance industry. Research focussing on customer relational benefits is limited, and such research has not been conducted within this industry or context. A quantitative, descriptive research design was undertaken and convenience sampling was used to select respondents. Data was collected by means of self-administered surveys from short-term insurance policy holders residing in Gauteng, South Africa. The results indicate that confidence benefits best predict customer satisfaction, followed by social and special treatment benefits. It is therefore recommended that, in order to improve customer satisfaction and maintain long-term relationships with customers, short-term insurers adapt their product and service offerings to include confidence, social and special benefits to customers.
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