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Linking Relational Benefits and Customer Loyalty: The Mediating Role of Customer Intimacy
Services Marketing Quarterly  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-06-22, DOI: 10.1080/15332969.2020.1830635
Mahendra Kumar Shukla, Pinaki Nandan Pattnaik

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate on the dimensionality of relational benefits by establishing it as second-order reflective construct with three related but distinct dimensions, namely, confidence benefits, social benefits, and special treatment benefits in the B2C services context. This is one of the few empirical studies to investigate the role of intimacy in service relationships, and the first to illustrate its mediating effects on the benefits–loyalty relationship. While existing literature regards service benefits, trust, and commitment as key pillars, our study proposes complementary contributions of intimacy to customer loyalty formation as an asset for managers to explore.