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Salespersons' service quality and customer loyalty in fashion chain stores: A study in Hong Kong retail stores

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate which dimension of salespersons' service quality is of most importance for customer loyalty in a fashion chain stores setting. It also aims to assess the effects of two retail environmental factors (price level and customers' demographic variables) on the customer loyalty of salespersons service quality. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study uses the SERVQUAL service quality instrument with modification in measuring the salespersons' service quality in the Hong Kong fashion retail environment. In order to measure customer loyalty in fashion chain stores, multi-item measures were used to collect data on repatronage intentions, word-of-mouth intentions, and satisfaction. A total of 232 surveys were administrated to shoppers who were leaving a fashion chain store in Hong Kong. Findings ‐ The results showed that the empathy dimension of salesperson service quality is the most important for customer loyalty in Hong Kong's fashion chain stores but the empathy dimension of salespersons' service quality in fashion retail stores could not be affected by these two retail environmental factors. Furthermore, the salespersons' service quality in the reliability dimension is significantly impacted by the customers' demographic characteristics, but not by price level set by fashion chain stores. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study was carried out in four popular retail districts of Hong Kong and the results obtained may not be generalized to the country as a whole. The findings that are relevant in a fashion retail setting may not applicable in other retail environments. Originality/value ‐ The findings can direct fashion retailers to improve the specific service dimensions and work to provide customers with more value through services which will consequently improve internal and external standards of quality and performances in fashion retail settings, thus bringing about repeat customers and increased profitability.
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Keywords: Customer loyalty; Customer services quality; Fashion; Retailing; Sales force

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-02-27

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