Purpose – This study aims to discuss and test the combined role of perceived risk, objective knowledge and certainty as moderators in the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use survey data of 387 Vietnamese consumers in a food context. A structural equation modeling (SEM) approach for moderator analysis with latent constructs is used to test the hypotheses. Findings – Perceived risk is a barrier in the forming of loyalty with a negative moderating effect on the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship. However, the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship is stronger when objective knowledge and certainty increase. Research limitations/implications – The object and setting are limited to one product category in one market. In addition, other moderators (e.g. situation and ambivalence) can be added. The nature of causality is problematic due to the use of survey design. Practical implications – Customer management based on satisfaction is not sufficient to keep customers' loyalty, especially in the situations of highly perceived risk and uncertainty. Marketing strategies, which reduce consumers' risks, consolidate their confidence and educate them with relevant knowledge, may be effective strategies to increase their loyalty. Originality/value – The study fills several gaps in the present literature. First, it overcomes some shortcomings of previous studies of moderators in the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship by testing the combined role of three important moderators. Second, it tests the moderator effect of objective knowledge and adds an extra explanation to previous studies. While some previous studies suggest a negative moderator effect of subjective knowledge, this paper argues for and confirms a positive moderator effect of objective knowledge on this relationship. Finally, it uses SEM for moderator analysis with latent constructs.
Journal of Consumer Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 2, 2011
Keywords: Customer satisfaction; Customer loyalty; Perceived risk; Objective knowledge; Certainty
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