CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT OF SOUTH AFRICAN FARMERS TOWARDS THEIR FERTILIZER SUPPLIER

Prof Christo Bisschoff1, Mr J Craven1

1NWU Business School, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Christo.bisschoff@nwu.ac.za

 

ABSTRACT

The postmodern ultra-competitive global marketplace makes it difficult for companies to hold on to customers.  This is especially true for industries that are driven by commodity products, and the South African fertilizer industry is not excluded from this statement.  It is therefore important that companies not only operate to create loyal customers, but also increase and maintain a high level of engagement with their customers. This study measures customer engagement for a South African fertilizer company.  In doing so, the study makes use, firstly, of a proposed customer engagement model, secondly, a customer engagement questionnaire to measure engagement, and thirdly, measuring the reliability of the data. The results show that all the antecedents were regarded as important by the respondents, and all but one exceed the required 75% level of excellence. The data were tested for reliability and showed excellent reliability in excess of 0.90, as measured by Cronbach alpha. This model can be used by manager, future researchers in the fertilizer industry, as well as other agriculture related industries.


BIOGRAPHY

Christo Bisschof grew up on a sheep station and later started his employ on this family farm heading the irrigation division. After five years he then joined the North-West Cooperative as an agricultural economist and completed his master’s degree (1990) and his doctoral studies (1992) in Marketing and Agricultural Business Management. He started his academic career at the University of Pretoria as a lecturer in Business management. Christo focusses his research on brand loyalty, business ethics and also focusses on comparative research. He has published an array of accredited articles, has addressed audiences international conferences, has acted as reviewer of a number of accredited journals and has served on the panel of the Marketing Association of South Africa. He was the Chairman of the International Business Conference and published the proceedings as the editor. He still serves on the academic committee. Christo lectures marketing at the North-West University Business School in Potchefstroom. Christo is married to Antoinette and they have two sons; Christo (Jr.) (29) holds a PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences and is a lecturer at the North-West University while Wilhelm (27) is an electrical engineer in Christchurch, New Zealand. Christo is a keen, but rather high-handicapped, golfer who has not yet succeeded top beat his sons in a round of golf.

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