The Impact of Instruction Understanding on Satisfaction and Switching Intentions

  • Michael Jones
  • Valerie Taylor
  • Richard Becherer
  • Diane Halstead


While prior research on product instructions has focused on design issues within the instruction communication, this research highlights the importance of providing instructions that are understood by customers. It is based on a customer satisfaction survey of over one thousand established customers of a health insurance organization. Results show that customers who report high instruction understanding experience less difficulty using the service, have higher levels of satisfaction, are more likely to recommend the service to others, and report lower switching intentions. This research extends previous examinations of satisfaction and switching behaviors by suggesting that instructions serve as an important managerial antecedent. Managers should be aware of the important role that service instructions and handbooks can have on critical strategic metrics such as customer satisfaction, service recovery, and switching intentions. Therefore, service marketers should systematically monitor customer reactions to instructions, including instruction understanding.
Journal Articles