عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: To stay in a competitive market, organizations need to focus on customers as the key elements of the market. In this regard, one of the techniques that help organizations is customer relationship management, which strengthens the relationship of the organization with customers and makes them loyal to it. Of course, in order to gain loyal customers, communication with the customer is not enough, but the quality of this relationship is also very important. In other words, a strong relationship with customers is the most important key to the success of any business. Many customer behaviors towards service providers are influenced by the type of relationship between customers and service providers. On the other hand, marketing science seeks to know the customer and how his or her behavioral responses affect marketing actions. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of relationship quality on Customer’s Economic Behaviors in Arak's Sport Clubs.
Methodology: The present study is a descriptive-correlational research that has been done using structural equations. The statistical population of the study included the customers of health and fitness clubs in Arak. The statistical sample was selected by a stratified and geographical method. The selected classes were from the north, south, east, west and center of the city. As many as 300 people were considered as a sample. After the research questionnaires were distributed, 266 of them were carefully extracted and analyzed. The data were collected by a 19-item questionnaire with four variables including relationship quality (Palmatier, 2007; Roberts et al., 2003), the desire to pay more (Bigne et al., 2008), the desire for re-attendance (Lim, 2006) and customer share (Palmatier, 2007). The validity was tested by an expert panel (N = 15). The reliability was done by Cronbach's alpha. The data analyses were done using SPSS16 (for preparation of data and descriptive statistics)and the Smart PLS3 Software (to test the research model).
Results and Discussion: The descriptive results of the research variables showed that the relationship quality average was 5.31, the average of the desire for re-attendance was 4.98, and the average of the desire to pay more was 4.96, which was higher than the average value of 4. Also, the customer share average was 66.5%. In the inferential part, the fit of the model was examined as the fit of the measurement model and the fit of the structural model. In the measurement model section, the composite reliability (CR) and Cronbach's alpha were greater than 0.7. The total factor loading of the questions was more than 0.4, and their significance coefficients (t coefficients) were higher than 2.58, which indicates the appropriateness of the measurement model. The AVE (average variance extracted) was greater than 0.5 in all the variables, the CR was greater than 0.7, and the CR > AVE condition was met. As a result, it can be said that the convergent validity is acceptable in the measurement model. The results of the divergent validity also showed that the variables in the model of the present study have more interaction with their questions than with other variables. In other words, the divergent validity of the model was adequate. With respect to the fitness of the structural model, the indicators showed that the structural model has a good fit. Also, the path coefficients of the research variables showed that the relationship quality has a positive and significant effect on the desire to pay more (the path coefficient was 0.653). Therefore, if the quality of the customer relationship improves, the customer will be willing to pay more to buy from the club, and, if similar services are offered by competitors at a lower price, he or she will not be willing to leave the club and join a competitor. Also, the quality of the relationship has a positive and significant effect on the desire for re-attendance (with a path coefficient of 0.519). In other words, the customer who finds the quality of relationship with the club desirable will continue to cooperate and buy more from the club. Finally, the relationship quality has a positive and significant effect on customer share (with a path coefficient of 0.495). In other words, a customer who is satisfied with his or her relationship with the club will take a greater share of sporting activities at the club. All this leads to more purchases and higher payments to the club, which brings a profit for the club. Of course, it should be noted that the effect of relationship quality on the tendency to pay more is stronger than the other two variables and has the least effect on customer share.
Conclusion: All the efforts of organizations in general and sports clubs in particular are to gain ability to retain their current customers and attract new customers. Customers do not just use the club services; they seek to have a relationship with the club beyond a customer. Research has shown that customer behavior after purchase is affected by the type of service provided and the relationship quality that the organization has established with customers. So, according to the research results, sports clubs should establish a relationship with quality, trust, commitment and customer satisfaction, so that customers, in addition to continuing to attend clubs, will have no problem to pay more for more services and get a greater share of the sports services they need from their current club. If customers perceive this relationship, they will buy more from the club at a higher cost, to the extent that this relationship leads to loyalty and promotion for the club by customers. Finally, it is suggested that clubs influence post-purchase behaviors by designing beautiful spaces in the club environment, consulting with customers, improving the quality of services, establishing communication inside and outside the club, holding festivals with customers and creating emotional relationships with customers.