Customer loyalty: a multi-attribute approach

Dickinson, J. Barry
December 2013
Research in Business & Economics Journal;2013, Vol. 9, p1
Academic Journal
The proposed model is theoretically grounded in the multi-attribute attitude literature. It is proposed that the antecedents of customer loyalty are be partitioned into three categories. First, supply-side (firm-controllable) customer loyalty antecedents are those satisfaction drivers that comprise total customer experience (TCE). Eight distinct TCE dimensions are identified through preliminary personal interviews. Second, the TCE variables influence customer loyalty through a series of mediating variables including satisfaction, quality, perceived value and trust. Customer loyalty is considered a dual-dimensional construct, comprised of cognitive and affective loyalty. The TCE and its antecedents work along two, independent paths---one calculative (cognitive) and one emotional (affective). Third, a demand-side antecedent variable, Loyalty Orientation (LO), is developed to account for the effect of individual differences on customer loyalty. The LO variable is comprised of price fairness, competitor attractiveness, loyalty proneness, and product involvement. Customer loyalty manifests itself in behavioral consequences, including repurchase behavior, spreading positive word of mouth communication, resistance to counter persuasion and reduced product category search. A measure of Perceived Behavioral Control is integrated into the model to account for purchase occasions where the decision is not entirely volitional (exit costs, monetary restrictions, etc.). Managers in virtually any market can use this robust model as a template to optimize loyalty.


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