Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Why Customers Stay: The Role of Switching Costs on the Satisfaction-Trust-Commitment Chain

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Why Customers Stay: The Role of Switching Costs on the Satisfaction-Trust-Commitment Chain

Article excerpt

Introduction

Why customers stay with the same brand? What is the role of switching costs on the satisfaction-trust-commitment chain? Extant research does not answer these questions. More broadly, creating, increasing, and securing satisfaction, trust and commitment for a brand are central to many corporate strategies because obtaining new customers is costly and customer retention is connected to long-term profitability.

Cell phone companies employ strategies that incur some sort of high cost in order to dissuade customers from switching to a competitor's brand. The cell phone industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. One of the main influences of growing cell phone industry is that cell phones have become necessary device in our everyday life. We use brands that is, specific branded versions of particular product classes-as the units of analysis in this study. This enables us to bring consumer-level notions of satisfaction, trust and commitment toward brands into the same plane.

Branding as an important factor allows a company to create meaning and value for their standard product and firms desire that customers become loyal to their brand. Branding also influence consumers' satisfaction, trust and commitment for a brand. Switching costs have attracted a lot of attention in marketing practices (Deighton et al. 1994; Lam et al. 2010; Wang 2010). Both marketing academics and professionals have come to realize that understanding the role of switching costs in the relationship among satisfaction, trust, and commitment for a brand.

We begin by defining the constructs of interest and developing a model of the relationships among these constructs. To develop our hypotheses, we draw from the new and emerging concepts of relationship marketing, brand equity, and double jeopardy. In this direction, we present the methods, measures, and results of the survey designed to test the hypotheses of interest. We discuss the results in terms of their managerial relevance and implications for further research.

Theoretical Background and Hypotheses

Brand Satisfaction

To bring new customers to a brand is vital to growth, keeping them have satisfied and committed to the brand is just as important to volume of sales. But how can companies ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction for their brand? Brand satisfaction generally is conceptualized as an attitude like judgment following a purchase act or based on a series of consumer-brand interactions (Fournier and Mick, 1999; Yi and Suna, 2004). Satisfaction is a positive affective reaction to an outcome of prior experience (Ganesan, 1994) then impacts on subsequent purchases (Oliver, 1980), completing cyclical pattern (Bennett et al. 2005). The relationship between satisfaction and trust has received some in the empirical studies published to date (Singh and Sirdeshmukh, 2000; Sahin et al. 2011), because trust development is generally portrayed as an individual's experiential process of learning over time (Williams 2001). Clara and Singh (2005) affirm that trust evolves from the result of past experience and prior interaction, and Garbarino and Johnson (1999) view trust as a high order mental construct that summar izes consumers' knowledge and experiences. To summarize above mention, the research hypothesis is proposed as below:

Hypothesis 1 (H1): Brand satisfaction is positively associated brand trust.

Brand Trust

In the marketing literature, trust has been studied primarily in the context of relationship marketing (Doney and Cannon 1997; Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh 1987; Ganesan 1994; Ganesan and Hess 1997; Morgan and Hunt 1994; Moorman, Zaltman, and Deshpande, 1992). Consumers need to trust that the brand will meet their expectations, deliver on its promise in every interaction. In the consumer -brand domain, this idea implies that the brand is an active relational partner. Brands that lose trust are in the danger of losing customers. …

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