Why do satisfied customers defect? A look at the concept of “customer satisfactions” and its shortcomings

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GRIN Verlag, Apr 11, 2011 - Business & Economics - 14 pages
Wissenschaftlicher Aufsatz aus dem Jahr 2011 im Fachbereich BWL - Marketing, Unternehmenskommunikation, CRM, Marktforschung, Social Media, , Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: What is customer satisfaction? Customer satisfaction is something formed and hosted in peoples’ (customers’ that is) minds. Customer satisfaction is the result of a comparison. Customers are expected to compare their pre-purchase expectations of a product with their post-purchase experience. Satisfied customers see their expectations met or surpassed by the product, dissatisfied customers see their expectations disappointed. This, in short, is the rationale behind customer satisfaction’s formation and this rationale, despite some stray definitions and operationalizations in the field seems to form the minimum agreement. Agreement, however, vanishes once it comes to the questions what follows from customer satisfaction. Some reasons for this “disagreement” have been identified elsewhere as diverging definitions and different forms to measure customer satisfaction. This short paper will go a step further and look at some analytical properties of the concept of customer satisfaction. These properties will be examined with reference to questions like, why is customer satisfaction expected to influence customer behaviour? What theoretical link exists between customer satisfaction and customer behaviour? And what theoretical shortcomings do explain the fact that after decades of research the status of customer satisfaction remains unclear at best? To answer these questions the next chapter provides the bleak picture of customer satisfaction’s relationship with customers behaviour. Based on doubts sowed in this chapter with respect to the concepts fruitful application, the following chapter will provide an analytic view on customer satisfaction. The next chapter of this paper will look for a theory that can provide the link between customers’ satisfaction and their behaviour or for a theory that can prevent the link from being established. This chapter will draw from Ajzen’s model of planned behaviour. Therefore, it will be necessary to unwrap the hidden premises upon which the assumption that customers’ satisfaction will influences customers’ behaviour is based upon. A final chapter will list results and describe consequences.

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