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Cross-cultural comparability of customer satisfaction measurement – the case of mobile phone service providers

Promporn Wangwacharakul (Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Silvia Márquez Medina (Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Bozena Bonnie Poksinska (Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 7 June 2021

Issue publication date: 23 June 2021

394

Abstract

Purpose

Customers from different cultures might have different expectations and perceptions of quality, leading to different levels of satisfaction. Together with the construct and measurement equivalence issues of cross-cultural surveys, this raises the question of the comparability of customer satisfaction measurements across countries. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the survey method of anchoring vignettes as a tool for improving the comparability of customer satisfaction measurements across countries and to shed some light on cultural influences on customer satisfaction measurements.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the models of American Customer Satisfaction Index and European Performance Satisfaction Index, the authors designed and conducted a survey using the method of anchoring vignettes to measure and compare customer satisfaction with mobile phone services in four countries – Costa Rica, Poland, Sweden and Thailand. The survey was carried out with young adults aged 20–30 years, who were mostly university students.

Findings

This study demonstrates how anchoring vignettes can be used to mitigate cultural bias in customer satisfaction surveys and to improve both construct and measurement equivalence of the questionnaire. The results show that different conclusions on cross-cultural benchmarking of customer satisfaction would be drawn when using a traditional survey compared to the anchoring vignettes method.

Originality/value

This paper evaluates the survey method of anchoring vignettes as a potential quantitative research method for studying customer satisfaction across countries. The results also contribute to customer satisfaction research as these shed some light onto how culture influences customer satisfaction measurements. The practical implication for firms and managers is that allocating resources among different countries based on traditional customer satisfaction surveys may be misleading.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section “QMOD-ICQSS Conference”, guest edited by Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park.

Citation

Wangwacharakul, P., Márquez Medina, S. and Poksinska, B.B. (2021), "Cross-cultural comparability of customer satisfaction measurement – the case of mobile phone service providers", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 236-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-01-2020-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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