Assessing antecedents of customer engagement for a South African fertilizer company
The postmodern ultra-competitive global marketplace makes it difficult for companies to hold on to customers. This is especially true for industries that are driven by commodity products, and the South African fertilizer industry is not excluded from this statement. It is therefore important that companies not only operate to create loyal customers, but also increase and maintain a high level of engagement with their customers. This study measures customer engagement for a South African fertilizer company. In doing so, the study makes use, firstly, of a proposed customer engagement model, secondly, a customer engagement questionnaire and, thirdly, factor analysis as a statistical tool to identify the underlying construct embedded within the data. The results show that only five factors Trust, Involvement, Integrity, Repurchase and Loyalty are antecedents for customer engagement. These factors explain 76% of the variance. Furthermore, it is important to note that all the antecedents were regarded as important by the respondents, and all but one exceed the required 75% level of excellence. The data were tested for reliability and showed excellent reliability in excess of 0.90, as measured by Cronbach alpha. The main finding of the study is that a new model for customer engagement in the fertilizer industry is proposed. This model can be used by future researchers in the fertilizer industry, as well as other agriculture related industries.