The use of information and communication technology to effectively communicate with the customers of electric express.
Customer retention has gained popularity in the past decade. Research has found that by building long lasting relationships with customers business is able to build a customer base that brings about repeat business. Repeat business contributes to business growth and profitability. Research has also found that marketing communication strategies and technology are proving to be effective tools for creating customer retention. While research has been conducted on the role of communication and technology in promoting relationship marketing and customer retention, there appears to be no significant study on how to communicate effectively with the South African appliance retail consumer in the living standard measure (LSM) group 4 – 7, which represents 56.7% of the population. The aim of this study was to examine the preferences of the South African appliance retail customer regarding the receipt of information and which technology would provide the most effective means to create two-way communication between the customer and the organisation. A non-probability sample of 381 customers was drawn from the 44 000 Electric Express customers. The sample was drawn from all nine provinces in South Africa and was representative of customers in the 20–69 age groups. The sample was made up of 58% female and 42% male. Of the sample 79% was African, 12% Coloured, 4% Indian and 5% White. Data was collected using a questionnaire which was administered by the Electric Express branch managers in the various stores. Statistical analysis revealed that there were a number of significant relationships between biographical data and the type of information the customer would like to receive, how often the customer would like to receive the information and the preferred technology to transmit the information. A salient finding was that there is a technological platform within the appliance retail industry that can be used to develop an integrated marketing communication system for business. The study can benefit organisations in identifying customer preference in communication and technology and recommends the implementation of a mobile and internet strategy as one of the key pillars to support the marketing strategy.
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