It is not surprising that service providers are increasingly attempting to
establish customer loyalty as competition intensifi es in service industries.
Building long-term relationships and satisfying customer expectations
could be an effective strategy to follow according to research that
suggests strong relationships between customer relationships, customer
satisfaction and customer loyalty. However, some researchers suggest
that service providers should direct their marketing efforts only towards
customers who have relationship intentions. It is thus essential for service
providers to consider customers’ relationship intentions and satisfaction
when drafting strategies aimed at building customer loyalty. The purpose
of this study was to determine the extent to which relationship intention
and satisfaction predict customer loyalty within the wholesale and retail
training sectors. Data were gathered from 185 wholesale and retail
skills development decision-makers located across South Africa, who
were involved in the selection of their organisations’ training providers.
Using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, the fi ndings indicate that
relationship intention and satisfaction signifi cantly predict customer
loyalty towards wholesale and retail training providers. Wholesale
and retail training providers thus need to understand that establishing customer loyalty depends on their ability to develop strong relationships
with customers who are receptive to relationship marketing efforts, and
to ensure that these customers’ needs are met.