This study examines the effects of 1) relationship marketing efforts (fit and special treatment) and 2) customer beliefs about the intent of a retailer's relationship marketing program (trustworthiness) on quality of the customer-company relationship within the customer loyalty program
marketing context. Based on De Wulf, Odekerken-Schröder, and Iacobucci's relationship exchange model (2001) positing a relationship effort – relationship investment – relationship quality – loyalty link, a structural model was proposed and tested. Data from a Web-based
experiment survey revealed that two contextual factors of a customer loyalty program (fit and special treatment) play significant roles in relationship building. The De Wulf et al. (2001) relationship building process was also confirmed. In addition, results revealed that consumer trust in
the intent of the customer loyalty program has a moderating effect on the strength of the relationship building process.