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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Li‐Wei Wu

Empirical studies investigating the antecedents of customer loyalty typically focus on satisfaction. This study aims to develop and test a more comprehensive model of the…

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6698

Abstract

Purpose

Empirical studies investigating the antecedents of customer loyalty typically focus on satisfaction. This study aims to develop and test a more comprehensive model of the antecedents of customer loyalty, including satisfaction and inertia. In addition, this study also considers how the effects of satisfaction and inertia on customer loyalty vary with differing levels of the zone of tolerance (ZOT), and how these are likely to change due to customers' alternative attractiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical moderated regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that a wider level of the ZOT strengthens the positive effect of inertia on customer loyalty, while also reducing the positive effect of satisfaction. The results also indicate that the negative moderating effect of the ZOT on the relationship between satisfaction and customer loyalty will reduce as alternative attractiveness increases. In contrast, the positive moderating effect of the ZOT on the relationship between inertia and customer loyalty will reduce as alternative attractiveness increases.

Originality/value

This study is a first attempt to integrate the ZOT to determine the relative importance of satisfaction and inertia in determining customer loyalty. In addition, this study suggests that customers with higher perceptions of alternative attractiveness are more likely to experience changes in the influence of the ZOT on their loyalty decisions.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Li‐Wei Wu and Chung‐Yu Wang

This study seeks to understand how elaboration and loyalty programs affect the relative importance of satisfaction and the zone of tolerance (ZOT) in determining customer…

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3238

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to understand how elaboration and loyalty programs affect the relative importance of satisfaction and the zone of tolerance (ZOT) in determining customer loyalty to an airline service provider.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical moderated regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Customers with high elaboration rely more heavily on satisfaction than the ZOT to maintain customer loyalty. In addition, loyalty programs can decrease the effect of satisfaction on customer loyalty, but cannot increase the strength of the relationship between the ZOT and customer loyalty.

Originality/value

This study is a preliminary attempt to integrate the ZOT and satisfaction in determining customer loyalty in a simultaneous model. The findings suggest that there is a trade‐off between the effects of satisfaction and the ZOT on customer loyalty. Most importantly, the results provide new insights into the loyalty response with regard to dissatisfaction.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Kenneth B. Yap and Jillian C. Sweeney

The zoneoftolerance (ZOT) is an innovative concept that has attracted recent attention in the services marketing domain. The ZOT represents a range of service…

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6564

Abstract

Purpose

The zoneoftolerance (ZOT) is an innovative concept that has attracted recent attention in the services marketing domain. The ZOT represents a range of service performance that a customer considers satisfactory, which recognizes multiple expectation standards, specifically adequate and desired expectations. This study aims to extend Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman's examination in 1996 of the relationship between service quality and behavioral intentions across the ZOT by heeding Teas and DeCarlo's call in 2004 to examine the relationship for specific dimensions. The study also seeks to extend outcomes to include satisfaction and value.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to assess measurement properties and regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses regarding the ZOT.

Findings

Consistent with several previous studies, two dimensions of service quality were identified: tangibles and process, the latter having a greater influence on satisfaction and loyalty. Contrary to expectations, the relationship between service quality and outcomes did not strengthen above or below the ZOT for any of these outcomes and was significantly weaker below the ZOT for satisfaction, loyalty and propensity to switch.

Originality/value

This study suggests a moderating role for the ZOT in the quality‐key outcomes relationship and implies that to maximize investments in service improvements, there should be a focus on increasing service quality beyond the adequate level, rather than seeking to develop a customer franchise by creating “delight.”

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Angus Ho, Piyush Sharma and Peter Hosie

This paper aims to extend the current research on zone of tolerance (ZOT) and its antecedents, to the context of business-to-business (B2B) professional services from both…

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2160

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to extend the current research on zone of tolerance (ZOT) and its antecedents, to the context of business-to-business (B2B) professional services from both client and service firms’ perspectives, with a modified ZOT framework including five client and service firms attributes as antecedents of desired (DSL) and adequate (ASL) service levels. Prior research on zone of tolerance (ZOT) and its antecedents mostly focuses on business-to-consumer services and customers’ perspective. The authors address these gaps with a modified ZOT framework with five attributes of client and service firms as antecedents of customer expectations, namely, desired service level (DSL) and adequate service level (ASL), for business-to-business (B2B) professional services.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (online survey) research methods with managers of professional audit firms and their clients, using a reduced AUDITQUAL instrument with 39 items and seven dimensions.

Findings

Professional firm size and fee premium have a positive effect on DSL; service tenure positively influences both DSL and ASL; client firm size has a negative effect on DSL; both client and service firm sizes positively moderate each other’s influence on the DSL; and DSL positively influences ASL.

Research limitations/implications

The authors study a single B2B professional service (audit) in a single city (Hong Kong) from a single perspective (customers) that may limit the generalizability of the findings. Future research should validate the findings for other B2B professional services in diverse locations and also include service providers’ expectations and perceptions.

Practical implications

Managers in professional service firms should understand the factors influencing different levels of expectations for their customers and develop suitable strategies (e.g. customer education and employee training) to manage these expectations more effectively.

Originality/value

The authors extend current research on customer expectations and ZOT by identifying five unique attributes of professional service and client firms and testing their roles as antecedents of adequate and DSLs using AUDITQUAL instrument.

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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2014

Hwansuk Chris Choi, Woojin Lee, HeeKyung Sung and Chien-Fen Chiu

This study compares the applicability of the zone of tolerance (ZOT) and importance performance analysis (IPA) techniques in the evaluation of convention delegates…

Abstract

This study compares the applicability of the zone of tolerance (ZOT) and importance performance analysis (IPA) techniques in the evaluation of convention delegates’ perceptions of products and services. Overall, 217 out of 400 were used for analysis, providing a response rate of 54%. The study results indicated that although an IPA technique is still useful in assessing the service performance of a convention facility, IPA should be employed with caution, concrete criteria, and clear goals. The study results also showed that the ZOT is practically applicable into business practice to assess service performance item by item.

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Tourists’ Behaviors and Evaluations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-172-5

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Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2014

Hwansuk Chris Choi, Woojin Lee, HeeKyung Sung and Chien-Fen Chiu

This study compares the applicability of the zone of tolerance and importance-performance analysis (IPA) techniques in the evaluation of convention delegates’ perceptions…

Abstract

This study compares the applicability of the zone of tolerance and importance-performance analysis (IPA) techniques in the evaluation of convention delegates’ perceptions of products and services. Overall, 217 cases out of 400 were used for analysis, a response rate of 54 percent. The study results indicate that although an IPA technique is still useful in assessing the service performance of a convention facility, IPA should be employed with caution, concrete criteria, and clear goals. The study results also show that the zone of tolerance is practically applicable into business practice to assess service performance item by item.

Details

Tourists’ Perceptions and Assessments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-618-7

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Zahid Hossain Shoeb

This paper seeks to investigate the overall service quality of the library system of Independent University, Bangladesh, a top‐ranked private university in Bangladesh. A…

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1656

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to investigate the overall service quality of the library system of Independent University, Bangladesh, a top‐ranked private university in Bangladesh. A survey is conducted among the library users specifically faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students.

Design/methodology/approach

A modified version of the SERVQUAL questionnaire was used for data collection. The gap differences between perceived and desired services were calculated and ranked which could indicate what services meet, exceed or fall short of the users' expectations. The mean values of desired service levels were ranked and compared among three groups of users. A Kruskal‐Wallis test was done to examine the differences in desired level of service quality by different groups. The method zone of tolerance was applied to find out the range between perceived and minimum service levels. Finally, the underlying dimensions of service quality were identified through exploratory factor analysis of level of desired services.

Findings

It has been revealed that perceived services were lagging behind the desired services and attributes of service quality which fall short of user perception though the gaps were not much higher. It has also been observed that there were some significant differences in desired services received by the users. The overall scenario of tolerance zone was inside the tolerable level by all users and only one attribute was problematic.

Originality/value

The concept of library service quality and assessment is new in Bangladesh. The author of this paper first started to study on this area among public and private university libraries. This study will no doubt encourage and foster further research in this area for the effectiveness and the better performance of academic libraries in Bangladesh.

Details

Library Review, vol. 60 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Anil Kumar and Preeti Mahajan

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the library service quality (LSQ) of University of Kashmir from the users’ perspectives based on the LibQUAL+ model approach.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the library service quality (LSQ) of University of Kashmir from the users’ perspectives based on the LibQUAL+ model approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey used the LibQUAL+ model to evaluate service quality (SQ) of Allama Iqbal Library (AIL), University of Kashmir, Srinagar (India). The data were collected from library users by administering the LibQUAL+ questionnaire in a printed format.

Findings

It has been revealed that AIL has succeeded in satisfying the minimum expectations of its users but could not meet the customers’ desired expectations that make them delighted. Library as Place (LP) and Information Control (IC) are the most satisfied dimensions of SQ of AIL, whereas Affect of Service (AS) is the least satisfied dimension. LP is the most desired dimension amongst LibQUAL+ dimensions. All LibQUAL+ items were found to be lying inside the zone of tolerance (ZoT). Further, “Library is secure and peaceful place for study, learning and research” (LP-21) was found as most important service item as per users’ desired expectations, while “Library staff shows dependability in handling users’ service problems” (AS-9) is marked as the least desired item.

Originality/value

Only a few studies have been carried out to evaluate the SQ of Indian university libraries as far as the LibQUAL+ model is concerned. Therefore, the findings of present survey will help to understand how far library has reached in satisfying users’ expectations as well as the areas or dimensions where it needs to improve.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Alison M. Dean

Reported studies on call centers emphasize efficiency and control, with possible implications for service priorities, customer orientation and service quality. However…

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6246

Abstract

Reported studies on call centers emphasize efficiency and control, with possible implications for service priorities, customer orientation and service quality. However, there is little empirical research to test assumptions from the customer’s perspective. This study aimed to establish whether customers expected (predicted) low levels of service from a call center, how this level compared to the minimum level they considered adequate, and whether the perceived customer orientation of the call center was related to service quality expectations. Data were collected in Australia from two sources: end consumers (n = 289) of an insurance provider, and business customers (n = 325) of a bank. Key findings were similar for both samples. First, customers had very high levels of adequate (minimum) expectations, and adequate expectations behaved independently from predicted (forecast) expectations. Second, customer orientation was associated with predicted expectations but not adequate expectations. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research and managerial implications.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

Birgit Leisen Pollack

The aim of this paper is to challenge the assumption that the relationship between service quality attributes and customer satisfaction follows a classic linear path. It…

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6739

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to challenge the assumption that the relationship between service quality attributes and customer satisfaction follows a classic linear path. It suggests the existence of a threshold level after which the strength of the relationship between the two constructs, for some service attributes, adjusts. Depending on the type of adjustment, service attributes can be classified as satisfier or dissatisfier. Each requires a distinct managerial action.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected via self‐administered questionnaire from customers of three service industries (i.e. banking service, hairdresser service, phone service). The type of impact of nine individual service quality attributes on customer satisfaction was investigated using multiple regression models with interaction terms.

Findings

The empirical findings provide evidence for the existence of satisfiers and dissatisfiers. Satisfiers exhibit initially no relationship with satisfaction, but after the acceptable level of quality (i.e. inflection point) has been reached, become positively related. Dissatisfiers follow initially a positive relationship path with satisfaction but after the inflection point exhibit no relationship, or at best a significantly weakened one, with satisfaction. The relationship patterns were found to be service attribute as well as service type dependent.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that, for dissatisfiers, increasing service quality ad infinitum may not be the most prudent approach. Here, gains in satisfaction can no longer be achieved after the acceptable quality level has been reached. However, for satisfiers, service firms must leap over the threshold before gains in satisfaction can be realized. This may require large investments in quality improvements.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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