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Karami, M.; Eyüpoğlu, �.Z.; Ertugan, A. Relational Benefits, Post-Experience Behaviors and Habitual Behavior. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 20 June 2024).
Karami M, Eyüpoğlu �Z, Ertugan A. Relational Benefits, Post-Experience Behaviors and Habitual Behavior. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 20, 2024.
Karami, Mohammad, Şerife Zihni Eyüpoğlu, Ahmet Ertugan. "Relational Benefits, Post-Experience Behaviors and Habitual Behavior" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 20, 2024).
Karami, M., Eyüpoğlu, �.Z., & Ertugan, A. (2023, July 19). Relational Benefits, Post-Experience Behaviors and Habitual Behavior. In Encyclopedia.
Karami, Mohammad, et al. "Relational Benefits, Post-Experience Behaviors and Habitual Behavior." Encyclopedia. Web. 19 July, 2023.
Relational Benefits, Post-Experience Behaviors and Habitual Behavior

The intention to repurchase is a key component in relationship marketing. However, minimal attention has been paid to how customers’ habitual behavior moderates the relationship between customers’ evaluation of benefits received from a service provider and the intention to revisit, specifically in a personal service business where customer-service provider interactions likely constitute the core of a sustainable relationship. 

relationship marketing relational benefits habit revisit intention personal service business

1. Relational Benefits

The consumption/usage is the main value of the services or products that customers purchase/receive. However, customers also obtain added value from the relational exchanges, which potentially strengthen the customer-service provider experiences and relationships [1][2]. These additional values, which are formed by loyalty in a long-lasting relationship with the service provider, are defined as relational benefits [3]. The effect of such benefits change over time in a long-term interaction while the customers constantly use the certain product or service [4]. As a result, relational benefits are likely to enhance the existing relationship between service encounters and buyers, which is suggested to enhance relationship sustainability in the long-term relationship [5].
Different forms of relational benefits can be received by customers from service providers during relational exchanges, such as social benefits, psychological benefits, economic benefits, and customization benefits [2]. The types of relational benefits have been modified and renamed over time in service studies and categorized into three main dimensions, namely, confidence benefits, social benefits, and special treatment benefits [1]. Confidence benefits are the psychological aspect of the relationships and refer to the benefits that increase the customers’ feeling of security and comfort, reduce their anxiety and uncertainty, and consequently facilitate the mutual understanding between customer and service provider in a relationship [3]. The emotional side of the relationship is explained by social benefits, which develop the friendship between customers and employees over time [6]. Social benefits enhance the feeling of being familiar, individually recognized, and socially supported by the service providers [1][3], specifically in services such as hairdressing where the interpersonal interaction is extremely intense and vital for effective performance [7].
Special treatment benefits include price discounts (economic benefits), faster services, and individualized services (customized benefits) that a customer exclusively receives from the serviced provider compared to the other customers [3][8]. These benefits give customers the feeling of being different, better, and valuable in contrast to the other customers, and as a result, make them thankful, grateful, and more satisfied [4]. In the relevant studies on relational benefits, there has been frequent attention on the modified classification of relational benefits’ dimensions (confidence benefits, social benefits, and special treatment) (e.g., [4][7][9][10]). Therefore, this research also uses the same perspective in studying the impact of relational benefits on behavioral intention.

2. Post-Experience Behaviors

In the literature, it is stated that post-experience behaviors such as satisfaction (emotional evaluation), trust, and commitment (rational evaluation) are the consequences of customer’s evaluations based on service provider’s behavior in social exchange [11][12], which are recognized as essential aspects of relationship marketing [13][14]. Satisfaction is an important aspect of the buyer–seller relationship, which has become critical for relationship continuity [14][15], particularly in service-oriented businesses [16]. Customer satisfaction is the overall appraisal of customers, which indicates their feelings after experiencing a particular product/service [17][18]. In the service context, satisfaction is measured based on the degree of a customer’s positive feelings about the service provider, which means that it is vital for service providers to constantly monitor the customers’ opinions towards services over time [19].
As a related construct, trust has been shown to be a key aspect of relationship marketing [20][21]. Trust is conceptualized as a psychological state that explains the degree of a customer’s confidence in an exchange partner based on the belief that the partner is honest and reliable toward activities that were promised to be delivered [22][23]. Trust in the service context is specifically defined as a customer’s belief in a service provider who performs the tasks appropriately and does not take unexpected actions resulting in negative outcomes [24][25][26]. Trust plays crucial roles in both initiating [27][28] and maintaining the stages of the customer life cycle in the business [4][29][30]. Therefore, it is still necessary to understand the role of trust in the relationship, specifically in the service industry where service provider–customer interaction is important for a sustainable relationship.
In relationship marketing, commitment has always been an important concept. Commitment refers to a customer’s tendency to continue the formed interaction with an exchange partner [3][22]. Commitment is the voluntary willingness of customers to maintain a relationship in response to the psychological motivation from the organization or service provider [31]. As a result, customers are more willing to invest more in the relationship in the long term [32]. The commitment of a customer is explained by indicators such as the sense of belonging to the service, the feeling of pride to be a customer of a specific service, and also the intention to maintain a boundless relationship to show loyalty [33]. Higher commitment results in the customer not seeking out other organizations that offer similar services [34]. Commitment can be categorized as continuance commitment, normative commitment, and affective commitment [35]. While continuance commitment is described based on customer interest in any financial benefit from an organization, normative commitment is an obligation form of commitment that forces a customer to be committed to the service provider or organization [36]. The customer’s emotional attachment resulting from service provider’s behavior in a relationship is called “affective commitment”. This type of commitment in the context of service provider behavior tightens the customer to the service provider, especially in the long-term relationship [35][37]. Due to this fact and the purpose of this research, affective commitment was chosen to explain relationship commitment in this research [38].

3. Habitual Behavior

Habit refers to an unconscious behavior that causes an automatic reaction/response by an individual [39] without any rational pre-assessment to carry out a specific activity [40]. Habit is also postulated as an automatic response learned from previous experiences to the specific situation that an individual performs towards reaching a certain goal [41]. In the context of service, habit is defined as the behavioral tendency resulting from a satisfactory experience of previous purchasing, which leads to buying the same product/service without a conscious mental process [42][43]. Therefore, customer purchasing habit reflects the history of interacting with the service provider and is developed through repeated performance and satisfactory results in post-experience behavior [12][44][45]. According to previous literature, the connection between habit and the intention to repurchase can be explained from three different perspectives; habit exerts a direct effect on the repurchase intention of customers [46][47], mediates the association between repurchase intention and its determinants [48][49], or moderates the repurchase intention and its antecedents [12][50][51]. This research aims to investigate the role of habit as moderator.

4. Revisit Intention

Over time and in the face of competitive market conditions, numerous studies have been carried out to explore, examine, and develop the theory of repurchase decision making (TRD), which demonstrates the importance of this concept in the field of marketing (e.g., [52][53][54][55]). Repurchase intention can be summarized as the optimistic probability that an individual will continue to buy products from the same store or seller in the future after evaluating the experience [42][56]. Repeat purchase intention is when an individual chooses to continue using the same service from the same service provider at the next visit [7][54]. Revisit intention is a similar concept to repurchase intention that indicates the willingness of customers to repeatedly visit the same place, destination, or person due to satisfactory experiences [57]. In the service industry, the term revisit intention is characterized as the degree of a consumer’s desirability to visit the same service provider such as a hairdresser [7], and service centers like restaurants [58] or hotels [59]. Since retaining existing customers is more cost-effective in comparison with attracting new customers, marketing managers and practitioners in the service industry are interested in establishing sustainable relationships focusing on understanding the factors of consumer revisit intention [60]


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