Title: Bridging sales and service quality functions in retailing high-technology consumer products

Authors: Rajagopal

Addresses: Graduate School of Administration and Management (EGADE), Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, ITESM, Mexico City Campus, 222, Calle del Puente, Tlalpan, Mexico City DF 14380, Mexico

Abstract: High-technology product sales are positively associated with the performance of retailers and distributors in terms of customer service quality, growth in sales and an increase in market share. This paper aims at analysing the impact of retail sales strategies and the performance of customer services on customer acquisition, customer retention and sales growth of the retailers and distributors of high-technology consumer products in Mexico. This paper discusses the triadic relationship customer-retailer-distributor in the high-technology consumer products market segment in reference to the SERVQUAL factors, which establish service quality, encompassing tangibility, responsiveness, trust, accuracy and empathy. The results of the study reveal that the customers perceive a better quality of the relationship in a given frame of functions that are performed effectively by the distributor, lowering the extent of conflicts thereof. The paper argues that a high conformance to quality of the services delivered by the distributors and value-added customer relationships are instrumental for retailers in acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers, as these augment the lifetime value for customers.

Keywords: customer services; SERVQUAL; reliability; responsiveness; competence; access; courtesy; communication; credibility; security; tangibility; service quality; customer-distributor relationships; customer value; distributor performance; sales growth; retailing; high-technology consumer products; market share; retail sales strategies; customer acquisition; customer retention; Mexico; triadic relationships; trust; accuracy; empathy; conflict; value-added relationships; lifetime value.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2010.034436

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2010 Vol.7 No.2, pp.177 - 199

Available online: 04 Aug 2010 *

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