Customer Loyalty in High and Low Involvement Service Settings: The Moderating Impact of Positive Emotions

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Abstract:

In the services marketing literature, the focus has largely been on the influence of satisfaction on customer loyalty. However, while a positive association between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty is generally acknowledged, empirical evidence concerning the exact relationship between loyalty and satisfaction in services has remained unclear. This holds especially for services in which consumers are relatively highly involved, i.e., where the service delivery takes place over an extended period of time and active customer participation occurs. We propose that for high involvement services consumer patronage decisions may be affected by consumers' emotional states experienced during the service delivery process. Therefore, in this paper, we examine the simultaneous effect of satisfaction and positive emotions in a number of service settings that differ in level of involvement. The results reveal that the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty with respect to extended services is moderated by positive emotions in the case of high involvement service settings. In contrast this type of interaction does not play a role of significance in determining customer loyalty with services that can be classified as low involvement services.

Keywords: EMOTIONS; LOYALTY; SATISFACTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725799784870388

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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