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Commercial Friendships: Service Provider–Client Relationships In Context

L. Price, E. Arnould
Published 1999 ·

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The authors describe commercial friendships that develop between service providers and clients as one important type of marketing relationship. They report results of five studies that employ quantitative and qualitative data analysis. They develop a measure of commercial friendship, identify important correlates, and illustrate how friendships form. Context and tension between instrumental and expressive goals circumscribe commercial friendships, but friendships are associated with satisfaction, strong service loyalty, and positive word of mouth. Qualitative data illustrate varied temporal ordering among satisfaction, loyalty, and friendship for both service providers and clients. The authors identify implications of their findings for an array of industries in which commercial friendships may form.
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