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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Samaneh Rahimian, Mehdi ShamiZanjani, Amir Manian and Mohammad Rahim Esfidani

Creating an extraordinary and memorable customer experience is the goal of every company seeking to be a market leader. This amplifies the need for customer experience…

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Abstract

Purpose

Creating an extraordinary and memorable customer experience is the goal of every company seeking to be a market leader. This amplifies the need for customer experience management (CEM), particularly in customer-centric industries. Despite the indispensable importance of CEM, studies conducted within this area have been scattered and no agreement has been reached upon its stages. Therefore, this paper aims to identify the main stages and steps for effective and efficient CEM in the hotel industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the variety of approaches in the literature and also the need to explain CEM stages in the hotel industry, a systematic literature review (SLR) has been picked as the first research methodology. It entailed a systematic review of 116 academic and professional studies. Then, the framework was completed by interviewing 19 experts.

Findings

With SLR and complementary interviews, this study obtains a four-stage framework for CEM in the hotel industry, each comprising necessary steps. These four stages are customer identification, customer experience design, customer experience implementation and customer experience measurement, which are all executed through organizational factors such as culture, structure, leadership, human resources and technology.

Research limitations/implications

This study identifies CEM stages in the hotel industry via SLR and interviews. Due to dispersion in customer experience studies, the need for research on CEM in another service- and customer-based industries is apparent.

Practical implications

The suggested framework can help hotel managers enhance the management of their customers’ experience and deliver a superior and memorable experience.

Originality/value

The current study aims to add value to the literature by presenting a framework of CEM in the hotel industry. Through a systematic literature review and interviewing experts, a framework of CEM stages and steps was identified. The proposed framework allows for improving future CEM studies.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2018

Shahryar Mohsenin, Seyedamir Sharifsamet, Mohammad Rahim Esfidani and Lucas A. Skoufa

The purpose of this paper is to define and develop digital products market segments in Tehran based on consumers’ buying decision-making styles (CDS) and testing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define and develop digital products market segments in Tehran based on consumers’ buying decision-making styles (CDS) and testing applicability of Sproles and Kendall’s model [consumer style inventory (CSI)] for this steady growing market in Tehran and contributing to theories of market segmentation.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to explore and identify digital products shoppers CDS. In addition, to determine whether the selected items and factors loaded, measured the identified CDS correctly, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to substantiate the number of explored CDS. Then, cluster analysis was executed to pinpoint decision-making groups and demographic characteristics such as gender, marital status, age, education and digital shopping experience to profile the diagnosed clusters.

Findings

Five CDS were distinguished for digital products customers (four former styles and one new one’s named “Premeditated buying”) through EFA and CFA analysis as a tool for segmenting; four clusters are, namely, “Best Seekers”, “Premeditators”, “Innovation Seekers”, and “Price Insensitive”.

Practical implications

It will be beneficial to companies focussing on the Iranian digital market. This study identifies each cluster behaviour based on demographic data too.

Originality/value

This is the first study focussing on market segmentation using extracting digital products decision-making styles. As the new shopping style, “Premeditated buying”, has been explored from this analysis and due to the nature of digital products, this CDS has not been found in previous studies and is unique to Iranian digital products shoppers.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Reza Fazli-Salehi, Mohammad Rahim Esfidani, Ivonne M. Torres and Miguel Angel Zúñiga

Universities are increasingly encountering high levels of national and international competition. In order for universities to continue with their business success and…

Abstract

Purpose

Universities are increasingly encountering high levels of national and international competition. In order for universities to continue with their business success and expansion, they have relied on developing and maintaining a differentiated brand identity by improving their branding strategy. The purpose of this paper is to examine the antecedents of students’ identification with the brand of public universities in Iran.

Design/methodology/approach

Sampling was done in multiple stages. In the first stage – using stratified sampling – students were recruited from distinct degree programs and universities based on the Iranian national demographic proportions. In the second stage, convenient sampling was used within each degree program category. For data collection, the interviewer distributed questionnaires among students regardless of age and gender. The number of questionnaires distributed in each university (i.e. the sample size in each university) was determined using the number of students in the country and percentage of students at each university.

Findings

The results showed support for the hypothesized positive relationship between brand identification and the antecedent factors including prestige, interorganizational and intraorganizational competition. On the other hand, the results showed no significant relationship between brand identification and the antecedent factors including distinctiveness and memorable experience. Outcomes (i.e. word-of-mouth, active engagement and loyalty) of brand identification were also tested and their relationships with brand identification are supported.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in the higher education sector in one cosmopolitan Iranian city (i.e. Tehran) to which Iranians from other cities travel to for studying. Thus, the results of this survey include a variety of sub-cultures. In the future, a study that incorporates all major metropolitan cities of Iran may increase the generalizability of the findings. Unrelated to the purpose of this study, a future research study may extend the currently studied geographical dimensions and examine the antecedents of students’ identification with the brand of public universities across different nations using a cross-cultural approach.

Practical implications

A study of the antecedents of students’ identification with the university brand can provide a guide for universities to manage their brand and marketing strategies. Managers of higher education institutions can take important steps in establishing a link between students and university brands. Managers can highlight interorganizational competitions. The authors recommended universities publicize and honor students’ success in academic competitions on the university website, via ceremonies dedicated to the student winners, and using print banners that identifies their name and achievement, among other mediums. Additionally, competitions can be promoted among students through professors and motivational speeches from recognized leaders.

Originality/value

Results revealed that brand prestige of public universities positively affects students’ identification. This study highlights the importance of national and international rankings of universities and the sensitivity of students to such rankings. Undoubtedly, this is evident in Iranian students’ behavior in selecting their university. Additionally, this study showed that brand distinctiveness of public universities does not significantly affect students’ identification with the university brand. Further examination is recommended to help explain this finding and a cross-cultural comparison will assist in this endeavor.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Marjan Mortazavi, Mohammad Rahim Esfidani and Ali Shaemi Barzoki

The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics of virtual social networks (VSNs) and to determine their salient attributes, including those that influence…

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3122

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the characteristics of virtual social networks (VSNs) and to determine their salient attributes, including those that influence flow experience, trust and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) behaviors affecting users’ purchase intentions, and to provide important strategic implications contributing to the Internet marketing literature.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a self-administered questionnaire, the data (n = 167) are collected from two Iranian Internet social networking sites, namely, facenama.com and cloob.com . Using LISREL 8.5, hypothesized relationships are examined through structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis.

Findings

According to the results of the study, despite all assumptions and studies to the contrary, eWOM behaviors in VSNs are derived from neither users’ flow experience nor their trust in VSNs, but they are mostly caused by VSNs’ attributes, from which four are investigated in this study, namely, communication and social relationships, entertainment, information disclosure and ease of use. Nevertheless, according to the results, VSN attributes also influence trust and flow experience, trust in a VSN environment influences users’ flow experience and eWOM in VSNs has significant impact on users’ purchase intentions. The findings also revealed that the level of education of a user affects how much he trusts the VSN environment.

Practical implications

The author examined flow experience, trust, eWOM behavior, purchase intentions and the VSNs’ attributes to verify their relationships, providing a better understanding of an effective indirect marketing in VSNs. The results also have important implications for researchers.

Originality/value

While flow experience, trust, word-of-mouth (WOM) behaviors and purchase intentions have been separately studied in Web sites, e-shopping malls and blogs, little research has sought to identify the existence of these elements within VSNs, their correlations with one another and how they are affected by VSNs’ attributes.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Seyed Shahin Sharifi and Mohammad Rahim Esfidani

The purpose of this paper is to study how relationship marketing can reduce cognitive dissonance in post-purchase stage and, thereby, increase customer satisfaction and…

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8448

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study how relationship marketing can reduce cognitive dissonance in post-purchase stage and, thereby, increase customer satisfaction and encourage loyalty under mediating roles of trust and cognitive dissonance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a survey on consumers of cell phones, the authors tested the effects of relationship marketing on cognitive dissonance and then customer satisfaction, behavioural, and attitudinal loyalty, using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results indicate that, thanks to relationship marketing, consumers undertook less cognitive dissonance in post-purchase stage. Thus, as consumers faced less cognitive dissonance, they represented more satisfaction and thereby behavioural and attitudinal loyalty. Additionally, the study confirmed the mediating role of trust and cognitive dissonance.

Practical implications

The results show that when brands and retailers make their ties with their customers stronger and encourage trust, they can discourage cognitive dissonance in post-purchase stage and thereby encourage customer satisfaction and behavioural and attitudinal loyalty.

Originality/value

Literature on post-purchase behaviour and cognitive dissonance shows how cognitive dissonance can reduce post-purchase satisfaction. Our research adds to the literature of both relationship marketing and post-purchase behaviour.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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