Within the competitive cell phone industry, long-term customer relationships can result in much needed
customer retention. However, relationship marketing strategies should only be applied to customers receptive to
relationship building; relationship marketing strategies should be targeted at customers with relationship intentions.
This article examined relationship intention within the South African cell phone industry through a non-probability
convenience sample of 605 respondents. Findings suggest that cell phone users’ overall or level of relationship
intentions is not associated with their relationship lengths or contractual agreements with their cell phone network
providers. Consequently, cell phone network providers should be cautious to use customers’ relationship lengths or
contractual agreements in isolation to identify customers for relationship building. It is recommended that cell phone
network providers should target customers with relationship intentions for relationship building, as these customers
are the most likely customers to be retained and provide return on such an investment.
This article was co-written by P.G. Mostert before he joined the University of Pretoria.