The Influence of Available Alternatives and Variable Expectations on the Impact of Disconfirmations on Satisfaction
This paper examines the impact of the characteristics of available alternatives and variable expectations on customer satisfaction within a choice framework. Typical models for customer satisfaction use a disconfirmations paradigm based on the gap between mean expectations of product performance and actual product performance. This may not adequately explain satisfaction if expectations are distributional for the alternatives available. Given disconfirmations may also impact differentially on satisfaction measurements depending on the alternatives available and specifically the various contexts engendered by variable expectations of the available alternatives. Using a designed choice experiment, this paper examines the impact of a given disconfirmation on satisfaction through various contexts created by manipulation of characteristics including expectation variability and attributes of available alternatives. Results suggest satisfaction measurements depend on expectation variability, attributes of available alternatives and, importantly, interactions between these variables.
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