Service Attributes Satisfaction and Actual Repurchase Behavior: The Mediating Influence of Overall Satisfaction and Purchase Intention

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The study proposes that the effect of service attributes satisfaction on actual repurchase behavior is mediated by overall satisfaction and purchase intention. Data collected through a survey questionnaire were used to test the proposed model. Findings support the mediation hypothesis and show that service attributes satisfaction has a positive and significant impact on overall satisfaction; overall satisfaction has a positive and significant impact on purchase intention; and purchase intention has a positive and significant impact on actual repurchase.

INTRODUCTION

A significant amount of research has been conducted to understand the antecedents and consequences of consumer satisfaction. Although the number of studies on the topic is impressive, Szymanski and Henard (2001) found in their meta-analysis that surprisingly very few outcomes of satisfaction have been investigated. The outcomes that have received significant scholarly attention include purchase intention, loyalty, word of mouth advertising, and complaining behavior. Some of the major findings from the body of research on satisfaction show that:

* Satisfaction has a positive influence on loyalty (Oliver 1 997, Gustafson, Johnson, and Ross 2005), word-ofmouth communication (Brown et al. 2005), and patronage intentions (Babin and Griffin 1998).

* Severe dissatisfaction encourages negative word of mouth advertising (Szymanski and Henard 2001) and prompts complaining behavior when attribution is easy and the probability of redress is higher (Folkes 1984; Richins 1983; Ursic 1985).

* Satisfaction is positively related to purchase intentions (LaBarbera and Mazursky 1983; Yi 1990) and satisfied customers show less price sensitivity (Stock 2005) and are also willing to pay a higher price premium (Homburg, Koschate and Hoyer 2005).

One substantive outcome of consumer satisfaction that remains under-researched is actual repurchase behavior. Although the link between consumer satisfaction and actual repurchase behavior constitutes an integral part of the nomological network (Perkins 1993; Szymanski and Henard 2001), Mittal and Kamakura (2001) found that virtually all the published studies, with the exception of Bolton's (1998), used repurchase intention rather than actual repurchase behavior as the criterion variable. They concluded that the existing studies have used

intention data because they are easier to collect through survey research or through other instruments, and they attributed the lack of empirical studies on actual repurchase behavior to data collection and data availability problems.

In Mittal and Kamakura' s study (2001), demographic characteristics such as gender, age, marital status, and education moderated actual repurchase behavior. Their findings showed that the functional form relating satisfaction to repurchase intention was different from the functional form relating satisfaction to repurchase behavior. They also found that in some groups satisfaction led to a higher repurchase rate, and in others satisfaction and repurchase behavior were completely uncorrelated. While their study found support for the moderating effects of customer characteristics on repurchase behavior, the study of the process through which satisfaction influences actual repurchase behavior will provide additional insights into the outcomes of satisfaction.

In a more recent study, Solvang (2007) examined the effect of service quality on repurchase behavior in a retail environment. The study found that service quality affected satisfaction, and satisfaction affected repurchase behavior indirectly through affective loyalty. The study also found that satisfaction had no significant direct effect on repurchase behavior. Considering the theoretical and strategic significance of the link between satisfaction and repurchase behavior and the obtained non-significant result in the study, it would be theoretically beneficial to reexamine the relation between satisfaction and actual repurchase behavior to better understand the process. …