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Drivers of customer satisfaction in business-to-business relationships: A case study of Norwegian fish exporting companies operating globally

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ Customer satisfaction is perceived as being a key driver of long-term relationships between suppliers and buyers, especially when customers are well acquainted with products and markets, and when industries are highly competitive, as is the case for Norwegian fish exporters. The purpose of this paper is to identify the most influential drivers (antecedents) of customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The data source is a market survey. Items measuring customer satisfaction as well as importance and performance (satisfaction) of drivers of customer satisfaction have been included in a questionnaire answered by 128 customers from approximately 25 countries, and analysed by use of multiple regression, factor analyses and importance-performance grids. Findings ‐ Managers of the exporting companies should provide quality products and focus on service quality aspects in order to attain a high level of customer satisfaction. Prices have not been identified as satisfiers; however, according to the item-based importance-performance grid, competitive prices are important and can perhaps be perceived as "hygienes", focusing more on what is important for customer loyalty. Research limitations/implications ‐ The research should be expanded to other business-to-business contexts (industries). Practical implications ‐ The study gives practical insight regarding drivers of customer satisfaction so that key success factors for the future can be identified. Originality/value ‐ Few studies focus both on importance and performance (explicit and implicit importance) of drivers of customer satisfaction. By allocating resources in a cost-effective way to activities that are key drivers for customer satisfaction, managers may attain increased customer satisfaction, increased customer loyalty and increased customer profitability in the future.

Keywords: Business-to-business marketing; Customer satisfaction; Exports; Fish (food); Norway

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070700710821359

Publication date: October 2, 2007

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