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About this sample
Words: 1494 |
8 min read
Published: Dec 18, 2018
Words: 1494|Pages: 3|8 min read
Journal Critique Article Reviewed: “Satisfaction Strength and Customer Loyalty” by Murali Chandrashekaran, Kristin Rotte, Stephen S. Tax, Rajdeep Grewal, Journal of Marketing, 1 February 2007, Vol.44(1), pp. 153-163.
The article “Satisfaction Strength and Customer Loyalty” is a Marketing Journal that studies about the satisfaction strength that plays an important role in the translation of stated customer satisfaction into loyalty. We strongly believe that customer satisfaction is the main key to secure the customer relationship with the company and to generate long-term financial performance. Most managers realize that customer satisfaction is important in competitive markets; however, most managers do not realize the importance of level of customer satisfaction that may affect the customer loyalty because there is a difference between the loyalty of completely satisfied customers and loyalty of merely satisfied customers. “Evidence reveals that many customers who state that they are satisfied with a service provider nevertheless defect.” (Murali Chandrashekaran, Kristin Rotte, Stephen S. Tax, Rajdeep Grewal, 2007).
The focus of this journal article is on identifying which customers are more likely to defect despite their stated of high levels of satisfaction. The authors believe that the translation of service satisfaction into customer loyalty actually depends on other variables. Critical events like service variability and service failures are very sensitive and may cause a potential downside of dealing with a service provider and may result to destabilize customer relationship. Hence, they examine the strength of customer sentiments in the context of ongoing customer relationships with the company. Other variable that may be the cause of customer defection even when they state their satisfactions is the various aspects of prior relational experience like length of relationship with the company and favorability of prior experience. The theories of this research is there are two distinct dimensions that related to each other in order to recognize the customers” stated satisfaction which are the level of satisfaction and its strength with which that judgment is held. Customers are most likely to differ in the strength of their satisfaction. Customer expectations are always vague and difficult to perceive, thus it is likely that the satisfaction judgments made by the customers are burden with their uncertainty with the service. They can be uncertain in their expectations of the service.
The authors argue that another way to observe the customer satisfaction is based on how they expect to experience and their actual experience with the service providers. The authors build on the extant satisfaction and judgment formation streams of literature by linking the customer satisfaction and loyalty with the role of satisfaction strength and prior relational experiences. They expect that prior relational experiences will affect the translation of satisfaction into loyalty since it may result to dissatisfaction and make it worse. By using data from an ongoing customer satisfaction tracking study conducted by a large US based service organization, this journal articles come out with two studies where they examine the role of satisfaction strength in shaping the satisfaction to loyalty link in a business-to-business setting for Study 1 and examine the hypothesized relationships in a service failure with the recovery situation for Study 2.
Study 1: Satisfaction and Loyalty in Ongoing Business-to-Business Service Relationship.
Each firm representative interacts with several customers on a weekly basis and because of the frequency of the interaction, the sales representative always manage to develop positive bonds with the customers. An interview is conducted with the key contact person who always involve in the service with the customers and the survey questions include the measurement of customer perceptions of the service delivery, the responsiveness of the company to their customer requests and complaints, customer satisfaction with the firm representative and the whole company and the survey also measure whether the customers willing to recommend the firm to others. The findings of this study show that satisfaction strength is very important in the customer satisfaction-loyalty link. Customers with weakly held satisfaction tend to defect more than the customers with strongly held satisfaction. Even if the satisfaction judgment by customers is weakly held, it will still result to loyalty.
Study 2: Satisfaction and Loyalty after Service Failures in Business-to-Consumer Relationships.
In the second study, the authors employed data from the work of Tax, Brown and Chandrashekaran’s study in 1998 to validate their theorization. This study differs from the previous study in two ways which are first, current study focus on the impact of the role of justice perceptions in shaping the level of satisfaction on the level and strength of satisfaction, and second, they centrally focus on the impact of satisfaction strength on the translation of customer satisfaction into loyalty. They used a cross-sectional survey design and measured in terms of commitment to the service provider and the tendency to provide word of mouth. Overall, the findings from this second study link up with the results from the first study which supports that customers with weak satisfaction scores have a greater risk to defect compared to those with strong satisfaction. The difference between these two studies is in the first study, they focused on one business-to-business service provider while second study focused on individual customer experiences. It is not only about the satisfaction, it is more to how strong and complete of the customers satisfaction with the firms. This journal study may look like a simple research but it actually really helps firms to improve their long-term performances. The first strength of this journal article is this journal study contents very useful information that may help in future practice.
Nowadays, it becomes more imperative to retain customers simply because satisfaction does not always have a strong effect on loyalty so this journal article helps us to be more aware and consider other variables like prior service experience and customer sensitivity in order to have a long-term relationship with the customers. Other than that, this journal article is an extra because instead of using just one study, the authors come out with two studies to support their theorization. They focused in both business-to business service provider and individual customer experiences itself to strongly demonstrate that satisfaction strength plays an important role in the translation of satisfaction into loyalty. Furthermore, this journal study highlights the problems associated with focusing on the other possibility while other researchers who only focus on the average satisfaction can be“blindsided” because customers who have prior experience may still defect even if they satisfy with the service provided.However, it also has few limitations and weaknesses that should be improved in future research.
First, instead of using their own primary data, the authors relied on the secondary data from the survey held by the organization mentioned and because of this; there are variables that they did not include in the study that could support more understanding of satisfaction. For the discussion in the context of corporate satisfaction measurement, there is also a loss of control over the data collection and the scales used to measure in Study 1. Besides that, this article only measures the translation of satisfaction into loyalty in terms of psychological loyalty, without focusing on the other terms of loyalty like behavioral loyalty (a customer who regularly deal at the same place) and attitudinal loyalty (one who tells others how great a product is). Even though early warning system on the issue of customer defection could be developed by focusing on psychological loyalty, it is also important to recognize the other concepts of customer loyalty.
Overall, there are few ways that can be used to extend this research in future. Future research can be improved by monitoring over time the strength and other variables that customers hold for the judgments of relationship quality with the firm like their trust and dependable towards the service providers. Other than that, for this current study they found that even after one service failure, there will be uncertainty feeling among the customers. How long will the uncertainty last? How to overcome and what causes it to disappear? So, there will be a great value if future research investigates and focus on the strength of key customer judgments even after multiple failures occur and their attempt to recover the failures.
Last but not least, one of the limitations of this study is that they use secondary data instead of comes out with their own results of measurement and that results to less supportive data. Hence, it can be more helpful if future research use other method the National Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) which can estimate the parameters of hidden categories. By using the CSI model in future research; it will not only help to clearly define the relationships between different categories, but it will also provide predictions of the result.As a conclusion, it is very important to discuss about the customer satisfaction. This journal article is very suitable for both study purpose and messages for public administrator and organizations to learn from. The company that will survive over a long-term period is the one that will continually work in improving the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
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