The purpose of this paper is to answer two research questions: does relationship marketing orientation (RMO) have an impact on customer satisfaction; and do the individual components of RMO have the same impact on customer satisfaction?
The above questions were answered in the context of an emerging economy using 174 responses obtained from executives of business‐to‐business firms in Vietnam.
The findings show that among key components of RMO, trust, bonding, shared value, and reciprocity have positive influence on customer satisfaction, while communication and empathy have not. Interestingly, trust and bonding are better than shared value and reciprocity in satisfying customers.
The use of cross‐sectional data does not allow the interpretation of the time sequence of the relationships among RMO components and customer satisfaction.
Managers in developing economies do not jeopardise relationship marketing orientation by mistakenly focusing on relatively less important individual components. In particular, managers may not pay much attention to communication and empathy but importantly, they should place more emphasis on trust and bonding compared to shared value and reciprocity.
This paper provides insights on the relative importance of RMO components in contributing to customer satisfaction in the context of Vietnam, a developing economy. These insights will help Vietnamese companies enhance their effectiveness in satisfying customers, growing with them, and reducing risks in doing business when entering a global market.
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