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Universal structure modeling approach to customer satisfaction index

Ali Turkyilmaz (Department of Industrial Engineering, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Asil Oztekin (Manning School of Business, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA)
Selim Zaim (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Omer Fahrettin Demirel (Department of Industrial Engineering, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 16 August 2013

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2587

Abstract

Purpose

Previous researches have proven that customer satisfaction and loyalty are affected by complicated relationships and are challenging to European customer satisfaction index (ECSI) model. Existing approaches mostly limit their hypotheses to linear relationships, which hinder much information that would lead to better modeling and understanding the relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty. The purpose of this paper is to reveal potential nonlinear and interaction effects that might be embedded in antecedents of ECSI by exemplifying it in Turkish telecommunications sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This papar has justified the validity and reliability of the ECSI model implementation in Turk Telekom Company. The path models are tested via conventional structural equation modeling (SEM) and using a novel method, i.e. universal structure modeling with Bayesian neural networks.

Findings

The findings of this study reveal that quality has the most important impact on customer satisfaction. The next important construct was found to be the company image. The relationship between customer expectation and customer satisfaction was revealed to be insignificant. This study reveals the fact that while using the ECSI model more attention must be paid to the consideration of potential nonlinear relationships that might be available among model constructs.

Originality/value

This research presents uniqueness in that it reveals significant nonlinear relationships between the model constructs of the ECSI model. Previous studies have identified purely linear relationships, which may not hold true in reality. However, in this study it is revealed that improving one determinant of customer satisfaction may not be as worthy as it is assumed to be in theory, which refers to a nonlinear relationship.

Keywords

Citation

Turkyilmaz, A., Oztekin, A., Zaim, S. and Fahrettin Demirel, O. (2013), "Universal structure modeling approach to customer satisfaction index", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 113 No. 7, pp. 932-949. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-12-2012-0444

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited