Because it is generally more expensive to attract new customers rather than retain the existing ones, service
providers are investing in resources to establish successful customer relationships. In identifying and targeting
customers who are willing to engage in a relationship, service providers often rely on the length of time for which
customers have supported them. However, relationship marketing strategies would be better directed at
customers with relationship intentions, who are more receptive to relationship building.
The purpose of this study was first to investigate South African banking customers’ relationship intentions and
then to determine whether the duration of their support influences their relationship intentions. Non-probability
convenience sampling was used to gather data from 276 respondents in the greater Johannesburg metropolitan
The results indicate that the relationship intention measurement scale was valid and reliable and that
respondents with different relationship intentions viewed the five sub-constructs constituting relationship intention
differently. The study also established that the duration of the respondents’ support did not influence their
It is recommended that, instead of focusing on customers who have supported the bank for longer periods, they
specifically target customers with relationship intentions when building customer relationships.