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Journal cover: European Journal of Marketing

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Marketing

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Identification and analysis of moderator variables: Investigating the customer satisfaction-loyalty link


Document Information:
Title:Identification and analysis of moderator variables: Investigating the customer satisfaction-loyalty link
Author(s):Gianfranco Walsh, (Institute for Management, University of Koblenz-Landau, Koblenz, Germany), Heiner Evanschitzky, (Marketing Center Muenster, Muenster, Germany), Maren Wunderlich, (Customer Relationship Management Projects, Premiere Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG, Germany)
Citation:Gianfranco Walsh, Heiner Evanschitzky, Maren Wunderlich, (2008) "Identification and analysis of moderator variables: Investigating the customer satisfaction-loyalty link", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 Iss: 9/10, pp.977 - 1004
Keywords:Customer loyalty, Customer satisfaction, Service levels
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03090560810891109 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for numerous valuable comments, as well as Sharon E. Beatty for her comments on previous versions of this article.
Abstract:

Purpose – Research on the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty has advanced to a stage that requires a more thorough examination of moderator variables. Limited research shows how moderators influence the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in a service context; this article aims to present empirical evidence of the conditions in which the satisfaction-loyalty relationship becomes stronger or weaker.

Design/methodology/approach – Using a sample of more than 700 customers of DIY retailers and multi-group structural equation modelling, the authors examine moderating effects of several firm-related variables, variables that result from firm/employee-customer interactions and individual-level variables (i.e. loyalty cards, critical incidents, customer age, gender, income, expertise).

Findings – The empirical results suggest that not all of the moderators considered influence the satisfaction-loyalty link. Specifically, critical incidents and income are important moderators of the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Practical implications – Several of the moderator variables considered in this study are manageable variables.

Originality/value – This study should prove valuable to academic researchers as well as service and retailing managers. It systematically analyses the moderating effect of firm-related and individual-level variables on the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty. It shows the differential effect of different types of moderator variables on the satisfaction-loyalty link.



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