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Waiting time influence on the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship in services

Frédéric Bielen (HEC Ecole de Gestion, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium and Ecole de Santé Publique, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain, Belgium)
Nathalie Demoulin (IESEG School of Management, Catholic University of Lille, Lille, France)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 27 March 2007




Delay is an important issue for service providers. Indeed, previous studies have widely shown the negative effect of waiting time on consumer service satisfaction. However, being satisfied with the service seems to be insufficient for customers to remain loyal. Creating customer loyalty is even more crucial than just satisfying them. The paper aims to investigate how customers weigh up their service satisfaction and waiting time satisfaction in order to determine whether they will remain loyal or not.


A survey was conducted in the Belgian health care industry. The final sample includes 946 respondents. Regression analyses were performed and the Baron and Kenny method used to test moderator and mediator impacts of variables.


The results confirm that waiting time satisfaction is not only a service satisfaction determinant, but it also moderates the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship. Moreover, determinants of customer waiting time satisfaction include the perceived waiting time, the satisfaction with information provided in case of delays, and the satisfaction with the waiting environment. In addition, it is shown that waiting time satisfaction is a complete mediating variable in the perceived waiting time and service satisfaction link.


The paper suggests several implications about the waiting time impacts on service satisfaction and customer loyalty. They show the importance of this variable in the service process and explain how to improve it.



Bielen, F. and Demoulin, N. (2007), "Waiting time influence on the satisfaction‐loyalty relationship in services", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 174-193.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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