(2014), "Executive summary of “The effects of anticipatory emotions on service satisfaction and behavioral intention”", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-07-2014-0255Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Executive summary of “The effects of anticipatory emotions on service satisfaction and behavioral intention”
Article Type: Executive summary and implications for managers and executives From: Journal of Services Marketing, Volume 28, Issue 6
This summary has been provided to allow managers and executives a rapid appreciation of the content of the article. Those with a particular interest in the topic covered may then read the article in toto to take advantage of the more comprehensive description of the research undertaken and its results to get the full benefit of the material present.
It’s nothing new to state that consumers don’t always behave in a rational manner, and consequently, emotions and feelings also have to be considered in explaining or predicting behaviors such as satisfaction, loyalty and buying intentions.
However, although the importance of emotions within a broad range of marketing theories is recognized, their role in understanding the antecedents of customer satisfaction remains relatively under-researched. The dominance of cognitive models of customer satisfaction has been criticized for an apparent poor performance in predicting future behavioral intention. Some of this poor predictive ability might be explained by situational factors. For example, a satisfied buyer may no longer require a product or a dissatisfied buyer may repurchase because the transaction costs of seeking an alternative might be perceived as too high.
There is increasing empirical evidence that emotions may better predict behavioral intention that cognitive measures. In the process of exploring the role of emotions in consumers’ assessment of satisfaction, further questions are raised about the nature of the linkages. Such questions – including how the passage of time may change perceptions – are investigated by Dr. Nicole Koenig-Lewis and Dr. Adrian Palmer in “The effects of anticipatory emotions on service satisfaction and behavioral intention”.
They based their study in the context of a UK university graduation ceremony, a major transition point for students which can simultaneously evoke a range of positive and negative emotions, such as happiness of being together with friends and the fear of going onstage in front of a large audience. A degree could be formally awarded by the university by merely posting the necessary documentation; therefore, the ceremony can be considered as an “unnecessary” hedonistic activity which fulfils graduates’ emotional needs. However, although affective evaluations may form an important part of attendees’ overall evaluation, they typically also evaluate functional aspects of the service, for example, the quality of the venue and general organization of the event.
It had been hypothesized that respondents’ emotions before a service encounter would have an effect on their emotions after the encounter. There was strong support for this, particularly in the case of positive emotions. An individual whose thoughts about the forthcoming service encounter evoked positive emotions was likely to come away from it with positive emotions. This study was not able to explore the bases on which individuals evoke specific emotions before the event. The nature of a graduation ceremony, in a UK context, meant that most respondents had not previously participated in this type of event, and therefore their anticipation of the service encounter would have been derived through secondary sources, for example, publicity material and talking with friends. An important management implication of this finding is the need to evoke positive feelings before an event because this is associated with positive feelings after the event.
This study found that positive and negative emotions have different outcomes. Positive emotions evoked after the service encounter had a direct effect on behavioral intention, but no effect on satisfaction. In contrast, negative emotions had an effect on satisfaction but no direct effect on behavioral intention. This confirms the results of previous research which found that negative emotions had a much stronger effect on satisfaction than positive emotions. Positive feelings evoked by the service encounter could be expected to directly motivate an individual to make further purchases/recommendations, whereas the negative feelings would not necessarily lead directly to non-purchase/non-recommendation.
A growing body of literature has suggested that cognitive measures of satisfaction are poorer predictors of behavioral intention than measures incorporating affect. A strong direct effect was found from post-experience positive emotions to behavioral intention, but there was no direct effect of post-experience negative emotions on behavioral intention. However, negative emotions did have an effect on behavioral intention when mediated through satisfaction, but even in this case, the mediated effect was less than the direct effect of positive emotions.
One implication arising from this study is that customers with negative emotions prior to a service encounter may be predisposed to things going wrong during the encounter and are, subsequently, more likely to be dissatisfied. Positive emotions on the other hand, are more likely to lead to seeing an event favorably through “rose-tinted spectacles”. This implies that emotional experience of an event is in the foreground of the respondent’s memory and will lead to behavioral intention regardless of the cognitive appraisals of the event, such as excessive waiting time.
Service design should aim to reinforce positive emotions throughout a service encounter, from initial anticipation through to post-consumption reflection. Previous research has described a process of “expectation assimilation” that may moderate any emotional dissonance. Affective assimilation may require marketing communications to be more specific in detailing emotional benefits of the service rather than, or in addition, to functional descriptions of the service process.
To read the full article enter 10.1108/JSM-01-2014-0845 into your search engine.
(A preícis of the article “The effects of anticipatory emotions on service satisfaction and behavioral intention”. Supplied by Marketing Consultants for Emerald.)