Many customer satisfaction studies have concluded that there is a significant relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty, but this finding has been questioned in that most of the studies focus on measuring the cognitive component of customer satisfaction. This study includes the cognitive component, but focuses on the affective component. It explores the role of emotions in satisfaction, and then compares the predictive ability of the cognitive and affective elements. Key findings are that both positive and negative emotions, and the cognitive component of satisfaction correlate with loyalty. Regression analysis indicates that the affective component serves as a better predictor of customer loyalty than the cognitive component. Further, the best predictor of both overall loyalty and the most reliable dimension of loyalty, positive word of mouth, is positive emotions. Thhe theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
International Journal of Service Industry Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2001
Keywords: Loyalty; Customer satisfaction; Customer loyalty; Higher education
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