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The Influence of Enterprise and Sales Person Characteristics on Relational Trust and Customer Loyalty: A Comparison between Taiwan and China Life Insurance Markets
The goal of this research is to find out how the characteristics of the enterprise and sales person influence Relational Trust and Customer Loyalty in China and Taiwan. Hoping to answer that question, this research puts the insurance market in China and Taiwan under careful examination: by comparing the two markets, the differences and similarities in the formation of Relational Trust and Customer Loyalty shall be revealed. The differences and similarities will also be discussed at the end of this research. The examination process starts by setting the key variables in the research. For the characteristics of the enterprise, reputation, size, and the length of relationship are being set as variables. The variables for the sales person side of research include expertise, likability, similarity, frequent contact and the length of relationship. The research assumes that these variables influence the Relational Trust then the Attitudinal Loyalty. Also, the moderator that controls the influence the characteristic of sales person has on the Relational Trust is the knowledge of the customer. In order to exam the model within the research, questionnaires were issued to those who purchased insurance product(s) and live in China or Taiwan. The method of convenient sampling is used in this research. Amongst the 420 questionnaires issued in Taiwan, 369 are effective (88%). In China, 230 issued, 202 effective (88%). The result from the analysis on the reliability and validity of the questionnaires shows that all variables are valid and coherent. Except the item “behavioral loyalty” from the samples in Taiwan demonstrated lower validity and reliability. Overall, the research finds the formation of customer loyalty in Taiwan mainly comes from the customer’s trust on the enterprise, but in China it’s from the trust the customer has on the sales person. Yet samples in both China and Taiwan show that the customer’s trust on the enterprise is from the reputation of the enterprise and the customer’s trust on the sales person. Also, the likability of the sales person, frequent contact and customer’s trust on the enterprise are the key variables for the formation of the customer’s trust on the sales person in Taiwan. In China, however, the variables are frequent contact, length of relationship and customer’s trust on the enterprise. It is all too obvious that the formation of Relational Trust and Customer Loyalty is different in Taiwan and China. These facts found in the research will be a reference for those who works in related fields of study or business world.
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