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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The effect of communication channels and innovation behaviour on trust and customer retention in personal selling

Published: May 28, 2019


Mirkó Gáti, Corvinus University of Budapest; András Bauer, Corvinus University of Budapest; Ariel Mitev, Corvinus University of Budapest


personal selling; trust; innovation behaviour


The paper analyses how offline and online communication channels used by salespeople and innovation behaviour affect trust and customer retention. It has also been analysed how trust affects customer retention. For the analysis a PLS-SEM model was applied, which is appropriate for exploratory model construction, and robust even if the sample size is not so high. Results highlight that both offline and online communication affect trust positively, so high-quality relationship-building – regardless the type of communication channel – can act as foundation of trust. A further finding reveals that online and offline communication affect customer retention, but offline communication affects it only in an indirect way, which means that offline communication has a primary trust-building role. Moreover, innovation behaviour affects trust and customer retention positively, which highlights the importance of innovation behaviour.