CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AND ITS INFLUENCE ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY AT LIBERTY LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA. Leon du Plessis MINOR DISSERTATION

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1 CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AND ITS INFLUENCE ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY AT LIBERTY LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA by Leon du Plessis MINOR DISSERTATION Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree MAGISTER COMMERCII in BUSINESS MANAGEMENT in the FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT at the UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG Supervisor: Dr Mornay Roberts-Lombard MAY 2010

2 ABSTRACT Very little research with specific reference to the Long-Term Insurance industry in South Africa exists, that focuses on Customer Relationship Management and Customer Loyalty. The study investigates Customer Relationship Management and its influence on Customer Loyalty at Liberty Life in South Africa. Over the past twenty years, the importance of the services industries to the world economy has grown. In the South African economy the services sector contributed 71.4% of South Africa s total GDP in The world economy is struggling in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Customers are cancelling their policies as they struggle to survive the down turn in investment and credit markets. Liberty Life experiences persistency problems as customers cancel their policies. Liberty Life is required to focus on its relationship with customers to increase customer loyalty. To establish the influence of trust, commitment, two-way communication and conflict handling on Customer Relationship Management and its influence on Customer Loyalty at Liberty Life in South African, an empirical investigation was conducted. The sample consisted on 254 customers visiting the customer walk-in-centres situated in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban. The study indicated that a significant positive relationship exists between trust, commitment and conflict handling, and Customer Relationship Management at Liberty Life. The study further revealed that a significant negative relationship exists between two-way communication and Customer Relationship Management at Liberty Life. In addition, the empirical investigation revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between Customer Relationship Management and Customer Loyalty at Liberty Life in South Africa. The study provided strategies for Liberty Life to improve and maintain its relationships between the organisation and customers if Liberty Life exhibits trustworthy behaviour, shows genuine commitment to service, communicates information to customers efficiently and accurately, thereby also listening to their ii

3 customers and handling potential and manifested conflicts skilfully. This will ultimately, contributes to Customer Loyalty, which will ensure economic prosperity for Liberty Life. iii

4 DECLARATION I, Leon du Plessis, declare that this dissertation is my own, unaided work. Any assistance that I have received has been duly acknowledged in the dissertation. It is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce at the University of Johannesburg. It has not been submitted before for any degree or examination at this or at any other university Leon du Plessis (Day, month, year) iv

5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I thank the almighty God, Jesus Christ, for his love, strength, protection and inspiration, without which I would not be able to face the everyday challenges. Further I would like to thank the following people and institutions for their contributions to my dissertation: My mother and father, Lida and Leon du Plessis, for their continued love, advice and assistance in all areas of my life. My supervisor, Dr M Roberts-Lombard, for his advice, guidance and patience. As a committed supervisor, he assisted me in overcoming the challenges experienced during my dissertation. Richard Devey for his assistance with the data processing and analysis. My family and friends for always supporting and encouraging me. The Liberty Group for their financial support in completing the degree and allowing me to utilise the experience gained in the organisation to further my studies. v

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7 TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT DECLARATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AFFIDAVIT LIST OF TABLES LIST OF FIGURES LIST OF APPENDICES Page ii iv v vi xv xvii xviii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION TO THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 1.1 INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY DISCUSSION OF TERMINOLOGY South Africa Gauteng Province KwaZulu-Natal Province Western Cape Province South African Long-Term Insurance Industry Liberty Life Customer walk-in-centre Consumer vs Customer vs Client Liberty Life customer Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Customer Loyalty Trust Commitment Two-way Communication Conflict handling PROBLEM STATEMENT SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 15 vii

8 1.6.1 Primary objective Secondary objective Research questions Research hypotheses Relationship between the independent variables and the intervening variable, CRM Relationship between the intervening variable, CRM, and the dependent variable, customer loyalty Relationship between the biographic variables and the intervening variable, CRM Relationship between biographic variables and the dependent variable, customer loyalty LITERATURE REVIEW Customer Relationship Management Defining Customer Relationship Management Four variables of CRM The importance of CRM in long-term relationship building Customer loyalty RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction Research methodology Data collection Data analysis Ethical considerations LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY DIVISION OF THE STUDY CONCLUSION 33 CHAPTER TWO: THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA 2.1 INTRODUCTION THE ROLE OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA THE LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA 37 viii

9 2.4 A PERSPECTIVE ON THE LIBERTY LIFE GROUP Liberty Holdings restructure LibFin Individual Life Liberty Properties Liberty Corporate Liberty Health STANLIB Liberty Africa CHALLENGES FACING THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA Economic outlook Globalisation Consumer behaviour Technology Regulation Access to insurance for low income earners A PERSPECTIVE ON CRM IN THE LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA Customer satisfaction as a precursor for CRM CRM aspects in the banking sector that could benefit Liberty Life in South Africa CRM aspects in the medical sector that could benefit Liberty Life in South Africa CONCLUSION 54 CHAPTER THREE: CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT IN PERSPECTIVE 3.1 INTRODUCTION CRM IN A SERVICE ENVIRONMENT DEFINITIONS OF CRM GENERIC ELEMENTS OF THE DEFINITIONS OF CRM 60 ix

10 3.5 DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AND CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MARKETING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CRM THE ADVANTAGES OF CRM IN AN EVOLVING MARKET ENVIRONMENT The advantages of CRM for the customer in the service industry The advantages of CRM for the organisation in the service industry WHAT CRM IS NOT THE LINK BETWEEN CRM AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION What is customer satisfaction? The determinants of customer satisfaction THE CRM PROCESS CONCLUSION 80 CHAPTER FOUR: THE VARIABLES INFLUENCING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY 4.1 INTRODUCTION THE LINK BETWEEN CRM AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY RELATIONSHIPS ARE DYNAMIC TRUST The concept of trust defined Generic elements to the definitions of trust Trust in Liberty Life The influence of trust on CRM and customer loyalty COMMITMENT The concept: commitment Generic elements to the definitions of commitment Commitment in Liberty Life The influence of commitment on CRM and customer loyalty TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION Two-way communication described Different types of two-way communication 97 x

11 4.6.3 The communication process Two-way communication methods Two-way communication in Liberty Life The influence of two-way communication on CRM and customer loyalty CONFLICT HANDLING A description of conflict handling Guidelines on conflict handling Developing a conflict handling process Conflict handling in Liberty Life The influence of conflict handling on CRM and customer loyalty CONCLUSION 111 CHAPTER FIVE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 5.1 INTRODUCTION THE RESEARCH PROCESS Step 1: Identify and formulate the problem or opportunity Step 2: Determine the research objectives Step 3: Research design Qualitative research Quantitative research Descriptive research Step 4: Conduct secondary research Step 5: Select a primary research method Data gathering technique Personal interviews Covering letter Questionnaire Questionnaire design Pre-testing of the questionnaire Reliability of the questionnaire Validity of the questionnaire Face validity 127 xi

12 Content validity Construct validity Step 6: Determine the research frame The survey area The study unit Population Sampling method Probability sampling method Sampling technique Sample size Step 7: Data gathering Step 8: Data analysis Editing of data Coding of data Processing and statistical analysis of data RELIABILITY OF THE RESULTS Sampling errors Response errors Non-response errors CONCLUSION 144 CHAPTER SIX: DATA ANALYSIS 6.1 INTRODUCTION DISCUSSION OF THE EMPIRICAL RESULTS Empirical findings on the different constructs of the study The importance of the different constructs of the study as rated by the respondents a focus on the different means Correlation between the independent, intervening and dependent variables Empirical findings on demographical variables Multiple regression analysis Influence of the independent variables on the xii

13 intervening variable Influence of the intervening variable on the dependent variable Relationships between the demographical variables, the intervening variable and the dependent variable MEASUREMENT OF OBJECTIVES ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF HYPOTHESES EMPIRICAL MODEL CONCLUSION 187 CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 7.1 INTRODUCTION CONCLUSIONS Trust Commitment Two-way communication Conflict handling Relationship between the intervening variable, CRM, and the dependent variable, customer loyalty Relationship between the demographical variables and the intervening variable, CRM, and the dependent variable, customer loyalty RECOMMENDATIONS Trust Commitment Two-way communication Conflict handling Relationship between the intervening variable, CRM, and the dependent variable, customer loyalty Relationship between the biographic variables and the intervening variable, CRM, and the dependent variable, customer loyalty 202 xiii

14 7.4 LIMITATIONS AND DIFFICULTIES OF THE STUDY AND AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 202 REFERENCES 203 xiv

15 LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1.1: Definitions of Customer Relationship Management 21 Table 2.1: South African life insurance market share, % share by value in Table 2.2: Liberty Holdings as a diversified wealth organisation 40 Table 3.1: Definitions of Customer Relationship Management 58 Table 4.1: Definitions of the concepts trust 88 Table 4.2: Definitions of the concepts commitment 92 Table 5.1: Reliability statistics 126 Table 5.2: KMO Interpretation 128 Table 5.3: KMO and Barlett s test for item validity 129 Table 5.4: Anti-Image Correlation matrix 130 Table 5.5: Exploratory Rotated Factor Analysis results 131 Table 5.6: Communalities 134 Table 5.7: Determining the sample 141 Table 6.1: Trust results 147 Table 6.2: Commitment results 148 Table 6.3: Two-way communication results 150 Table 6.4: Conflict handling results 152 Table 6.5: CRM results 153 Table 6.6: Loyalty results 154 Table 6.7: CRM influence on loyalty results 156 Table 6.8: Cities where questionnaires were obtained 158 Table 6.9: Cities where questionnaires were obtained, test statistics 159 Table 6.10: Gender of respondents 160 Table 6.11: Gender of respondents, test statistics 160 Table 6.12: Policies with other long-term insurers 161 Table 6.13: Policies with other long-term insurers, test statistics 162 Table 6.14: Marital status 163 Table 6.15: Marital status, test statistics 163 Table 6.16: Age 164 Table 6.17: Age, test statistics 165 xv

16 Table 6.18: Time period as a customer of Liberty Life 165 Table 6.19: Time period as a customer of Liberty Life, test statistics 166 Table 6.20: Dependents 167 Table 6.21: Dependents, test statistics 168 Table 6.22: Qualification 168 Table 6.23: Qualification, test statistics 170 Table 6.24: Non-parametric correlations of variables 171 Table 6.25: Frequencies of demographic information, valid 173 Table 6.26: Customer Walk-in-Centres 173 Table 6.27: Gender 174 Table 6.28: Population group 174 Table 6.29: Age 175 Table 6.30: Other Long-Term Insurance companies 175 Table 6.31: Marital status 176 Table 6.32: Education 176 Table 6.33: Years of being a customer of Liberty Life 177 Table 6.34: Number of dependents 178 Table 6.35: Influence of the independent variables on CRM 179 Table 6.36: Influence of the intervening variable on Customer Loyalty 182 xvi

17 LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 1.1: Conceptual framework 13 Figure 1.2: The relationship between RM, CRM and customer management 19 Figure 1.3: Relationship marketing ladder of loyalty 20 Figure 1.4: The satisfaction-profit chain, customer satisfaction, loyalty and business performance 26 Figure 1.5: Two-dimensional model of customer loyalty 27 Figure 3.1: The service profit chain 76 Figure 4.1: Conceptual framework 83 Figure 4.2: Communication process 100 Figure 5.1: Steps in the research process 114 Figure 5.2: Target population, sample units, sample elements and actual sample size of the study 136 Figure 6.1: Modified empirical model 187 xvii

18 LIST OF APPENDICES ANNEXURE A: AN EXAMPLE OF THE COVER LETTER 210 ANNEXURE B: AN EXAMPLE OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE 213 ANNEXURE C: LETTER CONFIRMING LANGUAGE EDITING 221 xviii

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