The primary objective of the study was to investigate the influence of trust, commitment, two-way communication and conflict handling on customer loyalty through customer relationship management (CRM) as a mediating variable at a South African long-term insurance organization. Both a qualitative and quantitative research approach was followed in the study. The population included all the customers of a long-term insurance provider in South Africa who held a life-insurance policy at the time of the study. The sample consisted of 254 customers in four major centers in South Africa. Primary data was gathered using a structured questionnaire, with items on a 7-point Likert scale referring to trust, commitment, two-way communication, conflict handling, CRM and customer loyalty. The statistical analysis that was used in the study included multiple regression analysis to test the hypotheses. The findings stipulate that a significant positive relationship exists between trust, commitment and conflict handling, and CRM at a long-term insurance provider in South Africa. The study further revealed that a significant negative relationship exists between two-way communication and CRM at the insurance provider. In addition, it was found that there is a significant positive relationship between CRM and customer loyalty at the insurance provider in South Africa. Therefore, long-term insurance providers in South Africa can improve and maintain the relationships between themselves and their customers if they exhibit trustworthy behavior, show genuine commitment to service, communicate information to customers efficiently and accurately, thereby also listening to their customers and handling potential and manifested conflicts skilfully. This will ultimately contribute to customer loyalty, which will ensure economic prosperity for the long-term insurance provider.
Key words: Long-term insurance organization, customer relationship management (CRM), customer loyalty, trust, commitment, two-way communication and conflict handling.
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