Purpose – This paper aims to examine the most important antecedents of customer loyalty in business-to-business (B2B) context using European Customer Satisfaction Index (ECSI) model. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire is designed consisting of measures of customer loyalty gathered mainly from previous related studies. A survey of business customers in construction and mining equipment industry in Iran is conducted, and a total of 90 responses are obtained. The collected data are analyzed according to the structural equation modeling technique using partial least square path modeling software. Findings – The ECSI model shows sufficient explanatory power in explaining loyalty in the B2B context. Adding trust to the original model leads to a better explanation of loyalty in the proposed model. In this model, corporate image is the main route to predict loyalty, while satisfaction, complaint handling and trust also are important. Although there is no direct effect of perceived quality, perceived value and expectation on loyalty, their total impact is considerable which is mediated through satisfaction. Research limitations/implications – The research should be expanded to other B2B sectors to validate its findings in different industries. Future research can also assess the impact of moderating variables. Originality/value – Most previous customer loyalty models concern business-to-consumer (B2C) rather than the B2B context. Moreover, research examining the suitability of the ECSI model in B2B is scarce. This paper addresses these shortcomings by examining a holistic customer loyalty model which incorporates some overlooked constructs as corporate image, expectation and complaint handling from the ECSI model. The proposed model, also adds trust which is not incorporated in national indices despite its importance in predicting loyalty.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 3, 2015
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