The Effect of Relationship Marketing Practices on Customer Loyalty in the Food Service Industry: A Qualitative Study on Senior Sales and Marketing Professionals
Keywords:Customer loyalty, Customer oriented approach, Food service industries, Gastronomy, Relationship marketing
This study aims to determine the effect of relationship marketing practices in food service businesses on customer loyalty. In the study, focus group interviews were conducted with seven senior sales and marketing professionals representing food service businesses. Content analysis was applied to the data obtained from the interview and categorized according to the themes. As a result of the analysis of the focus group interview data, the effect of relationship marketing practices on customer loyalty in the food service industry has four main themes: (1) customer relationship management; (2) a customer-oriented approach; (3) creating loyal customers; and (4) creating marketing strategies, with eight sub-themes. The themes revealed the importance of communicating and interacting with customers, determining and meeting their expectations, creating stakeholder awareness, and developing sales strategies focused on customer satisfaction. Overall, relationship marketing practices, which are the strategy used to establish lasting relationships by developing an environment of mutual trust, sincerity, and loyalty, where interactive communication with customers is ensured, have a positive effect on the customer loyalty of businesses that provide food service.
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