The Relational Drivers Of Commitment For Different Customer Groups
Services providers struggle to develop customer commitment. Within the services literature, questions exist regarding the simultaneous influence of quality, satisfaction, and value and its role on commitment, which is exacerbated by evidence that different customer groups may react differently to the influence of these constructs. The present research addresses these gaps in understanding of how to enhance longer-term commitment of low versus high relational retail customers. This study employs a cross-sectional, single retailer approach surveying 503 customers of a large pet supply chain. Conditional process analysis was used to test hypothesized indirect and direct relationships. Results were consistent with predictions. For low relational customers, satisfaction with employee encounters interacted with customer service quality to influence customer value. Specifically, customer value was positively enhanced with increasing quality perceptions when satisfaction was high. The influence of this interaction on customer continuance commitment was fully mediated by customer value. For high relational customers, service quality was fully mediated by customer value in influencing customer continuance commitment. High relational customers’ satisfaction with employee encounters directly influenced their continuance commitment. This is one of few studies to simultaneously employ service quality, satisfaction, and value constructs in models to examine indirect and direct effects for different relational customer groups. This research uniquely addresses the development of relational strategies to enhance the “lock-in” commitment - a strategically important outcome variable.
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