Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

Two-Level Model of Assessing Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

Two-Level Model of Assessing Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The researchers characterize the phenomenon of customer satisfaction, paying special attention to modern means of measuring it. Apart from presenting the main advantages and disadvantages of classic path models (ACSI and EPSI), the authors propose their own two-level conceptual model. This model allows researchers to compare the obtained results in the area of measuring customer satisfaction with other market subjects (operating both inside and outside of a given sector). Researchers will also be able to shape the phenomenon of customer satisfaction from an individualized perspective, taking particular economic markets, sectors and subjects in the research methodology into account. Thanks to the proposed model, the management of the analysed subjects offers information about the degree of customer satisfaction on two planes of complexity, enabling strategic benchmarking and facilitating the making managerial decisions, directed towards internal problems of the organization.

Keywords: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Loyalty, Path Relation Models

INTRODUCTION

In the modern economic literature by academics and practitioners on building long-lasting relationships between a company and its customers, several ways to evaluate customer satisfaction and loyalty have been proposed (see: Hill & Alexander, 2006; Kristensen & Westlund, 2004; Keiningham, Cooil, Aksoy, Andreassen, & Weiner, 2007; Fornell, 2008; Ramirez & Hachiya, 2012). The detailed description of the most widely used, advanced models (American Customer Satisfaction Index - ACSI and European Performance Satisfaction Index - EPSI) which are utilized to measure customer satisfaction has been the topic of numerous academic studies (see: Eklöf & Selivanova, 2008; Skowron, 2010a; 2010b; 2010c; Fornell, Rust, & Dekimpe, 2010; Morgeson III, Mithas, Keiningham, & Aksoy, 2011). This article presents a two-level assessment model. This model ensures collection of benchmarking data to compare customer satisfaction and its formation within subjects which are derived from different sectors of the economy, taking into consideration both the disparate specificity of the analysed enterprises and their sectors.

THE ESSENCE OF RESEARCH INTO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Periodic research into customer satisfaction, conducted using modern analytical tools, allows market subjects to:

- solicit customers' opinions on the quality of products/services,

- determine the main factors which influence consumers' transaction decisions,

- identify the level and scope of customers' expectations of the market offer and the enterprise itself,

- tailor the market offer to customers' needs, which is directly reflected by the level of obtained financial results,

- identify a set of critical success factors in shaping customer satisfaction,

- make an early diagnosis of the changes taking place in market preferences, which enables the enterprise to achieve the leading position in new product/organizational solutions, expected by the customers.

The goal of all studies of customer satisfaction is to enable organizations to understand the factors influencing customers' shopping decisions, to help them with making business decisions and to formulate a development strategy. If the assessment of customer satisfaction is to bring measurable market benefits, it should determine (Skowron, 2010a):

- customer priorities (which needs and expectations are important to them and to what extent),

- the margin of customer tolerance (ideal, expected and acceptable levels of quality of the offer),

- the perceived (experienced) quality of the products/services provided,

- the relationship between the achieved level of quality and the established customer priorities, as well as the quality of the competing offers.

In order for the tools which assess customer satisfaction to be accurate, a multi- level analytical model is needed. …

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