Customer Satisfaction and its Importance for Long-Term Relationships with Service Provider: the Case of Odontology Services

Aistė Dovalienė, Agnė Gadeikienė, Žaneta Piligrimienė

Abstract


Theoretical studies as well as practical evidence validate an opinion that solutions of customer retention and long-term relationships formation and maintenance have a positive effect on results of enterprise activities and play a crucial role in a competitive advantage development. The identification of antecedents of long-term relationships and evaluation of their predictors are becoming priority tasks of a service enterprise. Despite the abundance of scientific research, the identification of variables determining the development of relationships with customers still is a relevant object of scientific discussions. This article emphasizes that customer satisfaction is one of the antecedents of long-term relationships between customer and service provider. Therefore, in consideration of services nature and service provision peculiarities, cognition of factors that influence customer satisfaction becomes relevant for better understanding of customer needs and for the service delivery process improvement. Revealing the diversity of scientific approaches representing satisfaction drivers, it can be underlined that this issue is very important both for theoretical and empirical studies. Referring to a numerous researches on service quality and satisfaction we can maintain, that service quality is the main driver of customer satisfaction with the service provider. Furthermore, it is considered that service quality consists of such quality dimensions that could be named outcome quality, technical quality and functional quality. Considering all above mentioned and that service quality is the main predictor of customer satisfaction, this article aims to determine the relations between satisfaction and intentions to pursue long-term relationships with a service provider. Odontology services are selected for the empirical research. First of all service quality attributes are grouped using a factor analysis into six dimensions (factors). Using these results in this study one method of stated importance and three methods of derived importance were examined for identification of importance of attributes impacting customer satisfaction. Also results of correlation and regression analyses are presented showing relations between satisfaction, its predictors and customer behavioral intentions.


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Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839