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Communication Practices of Professional Service Providers: Predicting Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

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Abstract:

This study examined customers' perceptions of personalized service communication performance in relation to their expectations as predictors of their satisfaction and loyalty intentions in four professional service contexts. Survey data were obtained from 253 customers regarding their expectations and experiences with physicians, dentists, auto mechanics, or hairdressers. Multisample covariance structure analysis procedures were performed to assess the level of support for alternative theoretical models across all four professional contexts. Results provided support for one model, specifying that customers' perceptions of communication performance accounted for significant variation in customer satisfaction, which, in turn, predicted customers' loyal behavioral intentions. Customers' expectations did not play an influential role in predicting customer satisfaction and loyalty, as proposed in an alternative model

Keywords: Customer service; customer loyalty; customer satisfaction; personalization

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00909880305383

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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