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Service Quality

  1. 1. ISSN 1392-2785 ENGINEERING ECONOMICS. 2006. No 1 (46) COMMERCE OF ENGINEERING DECISIONSMarketing Service Relationships: the Relative Role of Service QualityTomas Palaima, Jūratė BanytėKauno technologijos universitetasK. Donelaičio g. 73, LT-44029, Kaunas Increasingly, firms recognize the value of close rela- Introductiontionships with their customers because customer reten-tion in intensifying competition is more and more impor- Tertiary economy sector is becoming more and moretant. The paper analyses services quality in the new rela- important, because more than 80 % percent of work forcetionship marketing paradigm. The article is focused on in the USA was concentrated in service (or tertiary) sec-Anglo-Australian approach to relationship marketing. In tor. The contribution of service sector to the GDP wasthis research approach the integration of quality man- more than 78 % percent (M. Bitner, V. Zeithaml, 2003).agement, services marketing concepts and customer rela- Competition intensifies, consumer behavior is chang-tionship economics are emphasized. ing, requirements for service quality is growing and tech- The article is organized in six parts. The first part is nologies develop very quickly. All these factors influenceintroduction. In this part research problem, the aim ant inadequacy of traditional marketing principles (R. Vir-the objectives are presented. vilaitė, A. Dovalienė, 2003) and provoked marketing In the second part different services quality models paradigm change from transactional marketing to rela-are analyzed in order to determine how these models are tionship marketing (M. Christopher, A. Payne, D. Ballan-adequate to changing relationship marketing paradigm. tyne, 2002).The Adequacy of service quality GAP model, the per- There are three broad approaches to relationship mar-ceived service quality model and the Gummeson 4Q keting (M. Christopher, A. Payne, D. Ballantyne, 2002):model of offering quality is analyzed. The analysis re- The Anglo-Australian approach, the Nordic approach andveals that service quality models and instruments are the North American approach. The first approach empha-limited to evaluation of a service episode and are static sizes the integration of quality management, serviceswhile relationship marketing paradigm requires dynamic marketing concepts and customer relationship economics.approach which could help to assess service quality in This paper will focus on this research tradition.long-term perspective along with other relationship qual- According to R. Virvilaitė and A. Dovalienė (2002),ity dimensions. marketing goal in this research tradition is “to maximize In the third part V. Liljander – T. Strandvik rela- efficiency of service delivery and relationships betweentionship quality model (1995) is analyzed in order to service provider and customer by managing service qual-identify its worth, weaknesses and strengths. The analy- ity and relationship quality.” The authors explain thatsis reveals that this model is useful and helps to under- service quality drivers and relationship quality drivers asstand the main relationship quality formation princi- well as customer life-time value and internal marketingples. Service quality in this model is treated not as a are very important to this research tradition. The value tosingle variable, but as a loyalty determinant belonging the customer is provided by perceived service qualityto the system of determinants influencing customer loy- improvements, moments-of-true management, and rela-alty and interacting with each other. Moreover, another tionship with customer’s development.advantage is inclusion of customer behavior variables In the relationship marketing paradigm quality is thein addition to the perceptual variables. However, the concern of all and customer service along with quality ofconstructs of this model are vaguely defined, there are interaction are paramount. Customer satisfaction is as-only several loyalty determinants, and model is theo- sured by trading relationships (R. Varey, 2002). Accord-retical. Literature analysis showed that there are more ing to R. Virvilaitė, A. Dovalienė (2002) and I. Gordonsignificant loyalty drivers therefore further analysis is (1998), long-term and dynamic perspective is essential torequired. relationship marketing. In the fourth part are presented the main relation- Ch. Grönroos (2000) points out that “most serviceship quality dimensions (loyalty drivers) identified ana- quality models and instruments are basically static” whilelyzing and synthesizing scientific literature. “services are processes and inherently oriented and cus- In the fifth part different empirically tested models tomer’s quality perceptions develop and undergo changeare analyzed in order to determine relative importance of over time”. T. Strandvik and V. Liljander agree to thisthese determinants on customer loyalty and to analyze the point of view (1995).interaction of theses determinants. T. Strandvik and V. Liljander (1995) point out that service quality models should be replaced by relationshipKeywords: services marketing, relationship marketing, quality models as service quality is only one construct of quality. upper structure called relationship quality. Knowledge 83
  2. 2. about relationship quality dimensions or loyalty drivers main relationship quality dimensions, 4) to determine theare very fragmented (K. Roberts et al., 2000; ). T. Hen- relative impact of service quality to the consumer loyalty,nig-Thurau (2002, 2000) explains that studies of loyalty 5) to determine the interactions between relationshipdeterminants-drivers (or relationship quality dimensions) quality dimensions.can be separated into two groups: univariate and multi- The research object is service quality along withvariate. Univariate studies analyze relationship between other loyalty drivers and their relative impact on loyalty.loyalty and a single driver, while multivariate studiesanalyze relationships between loyalty and several drivers. Service quality gap modelHowever, the vast majority focuses on few of them. The research problem solved in this article is the Service quality research by Parasuraman and his col-determination of service quality models adequacy to the leagues has led to the development of a gap model (see figurechanging relationship marketing paradigm, identification 1) that shows five kinds of quality gaps or potential breaks inof the main relationship quality dimensions (loyalty driv- the relationship linkages that lead to quality shortfalls.ers), and determination of relative impact of services The management perception gap (GAP 1). This gapquality on loyalty along with others determinants. means that management perceives the quality expecta- The aim of this work is to determine the relative im- tions inaccurately. This gap is due to:pact of service quality to the consumer loyalty and the • Inaccurate information from market research andinteraction of service quality with other consumer loyalty demand analyses.drivers (relationship quality dimensions). • Inaccurately interpreted information about expecta- In this work service quality is analyzed not as a sin- driver, but as one of the dimensions of relationship • Nonexistent demand analysis.quality system. The aim of this work emphasizes a sys- • Bad or nonexistent upward information from thetematic approach to solving the problem. firm’s interface with its customer to management. The objectives of this work are: 1) To analyze ser- Too many organizational layers which stop orvice quality models and to determine its adequacy to fit change the pieces of information that may flow up-the relationship marketing conception., 2) To analyze the ward from those involved in customer contacts.Liljander-Strandvik relationship quality model and to • Insufficient relationship focus.determine its strengths and weaknesses, 3) To identify the • Inadequate services recovery. CONSUMER Word of mouth communication Personal needs Past experience Expected service Customer gap Perceived service MARKETER GAP 4 Service delivery External communications to consumers GAP 3 Customer-driven service designs and standards GAP 2 Company perceptions of consumer expectations Figure 1. Service quality gap model (M. Bitner, V. Zeithaml, 2003) An inadequate marketing research orientation is one stand what they know, the gap widens.of the critical factors. When management or empowered Also related to gap 1 is a lack of company strategiesemployees do not acquire information about customers’ to retain customers and strengthen relationships withexpectations, gap 1 is large. Formal and informal meth- them, an approach called relationship marketing. Whenods to capture information about customer expectations organizations have strong relationships with existing cus-must be developed through market research. tomers, GAP1 is less likely to occur. When companies Another key factor that is related to gap 1 is lack of focus too much on attracting new customers, they mayupward communication. Front-line employees often know fail to understand the changing needs and expectations ofa great deal about customers; if management is not in their current with front-line employees and does not under- The final key factor associated with GAP1 is lack of 84
  3. 3. service recovery. Even the best companies, with the best • Market communication planning not being inte-of intentions and clear understanding of their customers’ grated with service operations.expectations, sometimes fail. It is critical for organization • Lacking or insufficient coordination between tradi-to understand the importance of service recovery – why tional external marketing and operations.people complain, what they expect when they complain, • The organizations failing to perform according toand how to develop effective service recovery strategies specifications, whereas marketing communicationfor dealing with inevitable service failures. campaigns follow theses specifications. The quality specification gap (GAP2). This gap • An inherent propensity to exaggerate and, thus,means that service quality specifications are not consis- promise too much.tent with management perceptions of quality expecta- • Lack of integrated marketing communications: ten-tions. The quality specification gap is result of: dency to view each external communication as in- • Planning mistakes of insufficient planning proce- dependent, not including interactive marketing in dures. communications plan. • Bad management of planning. Customer gap or perceived service quality gap. This • Lack of clear goal-setting in the organization. gap means that the perceived or experienced service is • Insufficient support for planning for service quality not consistent with the expected service. Key factors from top management. leading to the customer gap are: • Unsystematic new service development process. • GAP1: not knowing what customers expect. • Vague, undefined service designs. • GAP2: not selecting the right service designs and • Failure to connect service design to service posi- standards. tioning. • GAP3: Not delivering to service standards. • Lack of customer defined service standards • GAP4: not matching performance promises. • Absence of process management to focus on cus- Perceived services quality gap results in: tomer requirements. • Inappropriate physical evidence and serviscape. • Negatively confirmed quality and a quality prob- lem. The service delivery gap (GAP3). This gap meansthat quality specifications are not met by performance in • Bad word of mouth.the service production and delivery process. The service • A negative impact on corporate or local gap is due to: • Lost business. • Specifications which are too complicated and / or The perceived service quality model too rigid. • Employees not agreeing with the specifications and In the perceived service quality model (see figure 2) therefore not fulfilling them. functional and technical quality dimensions are con- • Specifications not being in line with the existing nected. The functioning of technical and functional qual- corporate culture. ity and influencing factors is modeled. • Bad management of service operations. • Lacking or insufficient of internal marketing. Image • Technology and systems not facilitating perform- ance according to specifications. • Deficiencies in human resource policies: ineffective recruitment, role ambiguity and role conflict, poor employee-technology job fit, lack of empowerment, Expected Total Functional quality perceived quality perceived control and teamwork. quality • Failure to match supply and demand: failure to smooth peaks and valleys of demand, inappropriate customer mix, overrealiance on price to smooth Image demand. Marketing com- • Customers not fulfilling roles: customer ignorance munication; Sales; Technical Functional of roles and responsibilities, customer negatively af- Image; quality quality fecting each other. Word of mouth; • Problems with service intermediaries: channel con- Public relations; flict over objectives and performance, Channel con- Customer needs flict over costs and rewards, difficulty controlling and values. quality and consistency, tension between empow- erment and control. The market communication gap (GAP4). This gap Figure 2. The perceived service quality model (Ch. Grönroos, 1998, 2001)means that promises given by market communicationactivities are not consistent with the service delivered. Technical quality variable or outcome variable isThis gap is dues to: WHAT customer gets while functional service variable or 85
  4. 4. process – related variable refers to HOW customer gets. The two other quality concepts form the result of the Good perceived quality is obtained when the experi- goods production and services delivery. Relationshipenced quality meets the expectations of the customer; that quality refers to how the customer perceives quality dur-is; the expected quality. If expectations are unrealistic, ing the services processes. Relational quality is closelythe total perceived quality will be low, even if experi- connected to the functional quality dimension.enced quality measured in objective way is good. Theexpected quality is a function of a number of factors: The Lijander – Strandvik relationship qualitymarketing communication, sales, image, word of mouth, modelpublic relations, customer needs and values. When qual-ity programs, which may even include functional quality There are four basic ideas behind the model (see fig-aspects, are implemented, perceived service quality may ure 4):be low, or even deteriorate if the firm simultaneously • One important aspect is the division into two levels,runs over-promising advertising campaign an episode and a relationship level. These will be discussed in detail following the description of the The Gummeson 4Q model of offering quality model. • Another issue is the relation between service qual- The model is illustrated in Figure 3. The model inte- ity, satisfaction and service value.grates goods and services and goods are treated as part of • The third aspect is the extended disconfirmationservices offered because in modern services economy it is framework that the model is based on.difficult to keep goods and services apart. The model has expectations, experiences, and image • The fourth aspect is the inclusion of variables de-and brand variables. As in perceives service quality scribing customer behavior variables in addition tomodel image refers to company image as in perceived the perceptual variables.service quality model developed by Ch. Grönroos. The The lower part of the model is related to the percep-brand variable adds new aspect to models of perceived tion of service quality in a single service encounter orquality. Whereas image is related to customers’ view of a episode.firm, brands refers to the view of a product that is created An episode can be defined as an event of interactionin the minds of customers. The term “brand image” is which has a clear starting point and an ending point andsometimes used for this phenomenon. According to the represents a complete service exchange. Within the epi-Gummesson 4Q model of offering quality, customers’ sode there can exist several interactions (acts). It is clearperception of the total quality, on the other hand influ- that the operationalization of episodes vs. acts should beences image of the firm, but on the other hand it also con- service-specific. The term episode is defined as havingtributes in a decisive way to the brand that is emerging in four elements: a) product or service exchange; b) infor-the minds of the customers. mation exchange; c) financial exchange and d) social ex- change. The service experienced in a service encounter can be Image, Brand compared to any comparison standard, not only to pre- dictive expectations as is traditionally the case in service quality models, or it can be compared to no comparison standard, depending to what seems to generate most valid Expectations Experiences result. long – term perceived quality Episode performance can be within tolerance zone or Customer immediate and it can drop below adequate service – the minimum level considered acceptable. If episode performance is out of Design quality Relationship quality adequate service level, the customers will be frustrated. By comparing the episode quality that emerges with the customer perceived sacrifice the customer forms his (or Production and organization’s) perception of value for him provided by Technical quality delivery quality the episode. This in turn leads to satisfaction or dissatis- faction with the service. The satisfaction with a given service encounter (episode) influences the future behav- ior of the customer. The customer-perceived episode-level value, as well Figure 3. The 4Q model of offering quality as bonds that exists, influence the customer’s image of (Gummesson, 1993, 2003) the service provider. The image incorporates the custom- The two first quality concepts in the model are ers’ old and recent experiences with the firm and builds asources of quality. Design quality refers to how well the bridge to the relationship level of the model. The imagecombination of goods and services are developed and functions as a filter when customer perceives the nextdesigned. Design quality errors result in poor perform- episode or service encounter.ance and negative experiences. Production and delivery Perceptions of quality and value of episodes or servicequality refers to how well services and goods are deliv- encounters following each other accumulates into per-ered compared to design. ceived quality of the relationship 86
  5. 5. Relationship performance Relationship quality Comparison stanydard Zone of tolerance Relationship value Relationship quality Relationship sacrifice Relationship satisfaction IMAGE / BEHAVIOR COMMITMENT • Loyalty • Commitment BONDS Episode performance Episode quality Comparison standard Zone of tolerance Episode value Episode quality Episode sacrifice Episode satisfaction Figure 4. The Liljander – Strandvik relationship quality model (V. Liljander, T. Strandvik, 1995) According to the Lijander – Strandvik model the cus- The analysis of relationship quality dimensionstomer compares the firm’s ongoing performance in sub- (consumer loyalty drivers)sequent service encounters (relationship performance)with a comparison standard and, based on that compari- Relationship benefits. The existing literature on re-son to customer-perceived long-term sacrifice (relation- lationship benefits is predominantly of an exploratoryship sacrifice) the value of the relationship at a given kind (T. Hennig-Thurau, 2002). According to V. Lil-point in time is perceived (relationship value). This af- jander (2002), relationship benefits are perceived advan-fects long-term satisfaction with the service provider (re- tages that the regular customer receives over and abovelationship satisfaction), which in turn feeds into the im- the core service. These are rewards that the individual hasage on the on hand and into future behavior (loyalty and gained over the time by being a regular customer. Thecommitment) on the other hand. This influence the for- benefits tie customer to the company by making it unat-mation of bonds between customer and service provider. tractive to switch service providers.There are: economic, technological, geographic, time, An empirical study of different services by Gwinnerknowledge, social, cultural, ideological and psychological et al. (1998) identified a number of relationship benefitsbonds. that were reduced to three main categories: 1) confidence The model very well explains the principles of rela- / trust, 2) social benefits, 3) special treatment benefits.tionship quality formation, but only interactions of qual- Confidence / trust benefits were found to be most impor-ity, satisfaction and value are analyzed. Moreover, the tant, followed by social benefits and special treatment.model is theoretical and not tested empirically. According According to Berry (2000) relationship marketing reliesto T. Hennig-Thurau et. al (2002) and R. Brodie et al primarily on social bonds (or benefits), which involve(2003), the analysis of loyalty drivers should be based on regular communication with customers and service conti-multivariate approach, because there are many different nuity through personal service representative.loyalty drivers. In the next section of this article con- According to T. Hennig – Thurau (2000), socialsumer loyalty drivers (or relationship quality dimensions) benefits pertain to the emotional part of the relationshipwill be analyzed. and are characterized by personal recognition of customer 87
  6. 6. by employees, the customer’s own familiarity with em- has to be willing to learn about customers’ needsployees, and the creation of friendships between custom- and problems and to develop it services accord-ers and employees. Confidence benefits refer to percep- ingly.tions of reduce anxiety and comfort in knowing what to • Identification based trust. V. Liljander explains thatexpect in the service encounter. Special treatment bene- customers with identification-based trust have fullfits take the form of relational consumers receiving price confidence in the service company and believe thatbreaks, faster service, or individualized additional ser- it will act in their best interests. The service pro-vices. These benefits exist above and beyond the core vider has in-depth knowledge of customers’ needsservice provided. and desires and customer perceive that their desires Trust. V. Liljander and Morgan and Hunt (1994) de- are fulfilled. V. Liljander explains that shared val-fine trust as “confidence in an exchange partner’s reli- ues characterize this type of trust, and customersability and integrity. K. Roberts, S. Varki and R. Brodie tend to defend the company against criticism. Iden-(2003) classify it into trust in partner’s honesty and trust tification based trust can be linked to the culturalin partner’s benevolence. Trust in partner’s honesty is and ideological bonds in the Lijander-Strandvikdescribed as “one party’s belief that their needs will be model of relationship quality (see Figure 5).fulfilled by the other party in the future” and requires a According to T. Hennig – Thurau (2002), trust cre-judgment as to the integrity and reliability of an exchange ates benefits for the customer (e.g., relationship effi-partner. Trust in partner’s benevolence is described as ciency through decreased transaction costs) that in turn“extend to which the firm is concerned for the customer’s foster his or her commitment and loyalty to the relation-welfare and has intentions ant motives beneficial to the ship.customer when new conditions arise for which a com- J. Crotts and G. Turner (1999) point out that there aremitment has not been made”. R. Varey (2001) explains five types of trust: 1) blind trust, 2) calculative trust, 3)that “trust is confidence of desirable outcomes from in- verifiable trust, 4) earner trust, 5) reciprocal trust. Theteracting with another, based on predictability, depend- authors explain that blind trust is related with the lowestability, and faith”. The marketing task is to engender a degree of commitment while reciprocal trust has thefeeling of reliance. highest degree of commitment. V. Liljander (2002) and Johnson and Grayson (2000) Blind trust is based upon a lack of knowledge or per-list four different sources of trust and distrust: 1) general- haps some other irrational basis. The antecedents of blindized trust, based on the firm’s reputation, 2) personality – trust are: reputation and interdependence / power. Powerbased trust, 3) system based trust, focused on regulating imbalance is defined as the ability of one partner to getauthorities, 4) process–based trust, arising from interper- the other partner to do something they would not nor-sonal or customer – firm interaction. mally do. Power imbalance is directly related to the de- Finally V. Liljander classifies trust into calculus gree of one partner’s dependence on the other partner.based trust, knowledge based trust and identification Calculative trust is based upon the costs and or bene-based trust and gives qualitative examples derived from fits of cheating or staying in a relationship. The antece-qualitative study: dents of calculative trust are interdependence/power and • Calculus based trust. Customers with calculus mutual goals. J. Crotts and G. Turner (1999) define the based trust have trust in the service provide because concept of mutual goals as “the degree to which partners they believe in to be in the provider’s best interest share goals that can only be accomplished in an environ- not to suffer the loss of reputation and profits that a ment of trust where joint action and maintenance of the violation of trust would lead to. They believe in the relationship is desired by both parties”. These mutual benevolence of the provider, but the belief is based goals provide a strong reason for trust and relationship on the cost of deterrence. Even small inconsisten- continuance. cies in performance could have a large detrimental Verifiable trust is based upon the ability of one firm effect on trust perceptions. Calculus based trust may to verify the actions of another. The antecedents of this take different forms for different services, but we type of trust are: mutual goals and adaptation. According feel that it is unlikely to be combined with high af- to J. Crotts and G. Turner, adaptation Adaptation occurs fective commitment. when one party in a relationship alters its processes or the • Knowledge based trust. According V. Liljander, item exchanged to accommodate the other party. They knowledge based trust is based on knowing the ser- expect that adaptation behavior will vary over the life of vice firm well and being able to anticipate its ac- the intra-firm relationship. In the early states it will be a tions. This type of trust can be related to knowledge means to develop trust, and in the mature stage it will bonds in Liljander–Strandvik relationship quality expand and solidify the relationship. model (1995) (see Figure 5) and confidence bene- Earned trust is based upon some experiential basis. fits, described by Gwinner et al. (1998). V. Lil- That is, one party trusts the other because the other party jander point out that effective two-way communica- trusts them. The antecedents of earned trust are: adapta- tion is important to knowledge related bonds be- tion, non-retrievable investments, performance satisfac- cause it ensures that parties exchange information tion and communication. Non-retrievable investments are about their preferences and approaches to problems. defined as the relationship specific commitment of re- It means that customers have to be willing to share sources which a partner invests in the relationship. These information with the company, and the company non-retrievable investments (capital improvements, train- 88
  7. 7. ing, and equipment) cannot be recovered if the relation- iors), 3) expressed over time, 4) by some decision makingship terminates. The existence not only of these non- unit, 5) with respect to one services provider out of a setretrievable investments, but also of the amount at stake, of such providers, which (6) is a function of psychologi-creates hesitancy within the parties to terminate a rela- cal (cognitive and affective) processes, including pres-tionship. ence of trust, relationship benefits and the absence of Reciprocal trust. Finally, reciprocal trust is based negative bonds, resulting in service provider commite-upon the participants possessing mutual trust. That is, one ment”.party trusts the other because the other party trusts them.The antecedents of reciprocal trust are: communication,cooperation, social bonds and structural bonds. Co-operation has been defined as, similar or complementarycoordinated actions taken by firms in interdependent rela-tionships to achieve mutual outcomes or singular out-comes with expected reciprocation over time. Structuralbonds develop over time as the level of the investmentsand adaptations grows until a point is reached when itmay be very difficult to terminate a relationship. Commitment. Morgan and Hunt (1994) and C.Crotts and B. Turner (1999) define relationship commit-ment as: “an exchange partner believing that an ongoingrelationship with another is so important as to warrant Figure 5. Customer relationship levels matrixmaximum efforts at maintaining it; that is, the committed (V. Liljander, I. Roos, 2002)party believes the relationship is worth working on toensure that it endures indefinitely”. R. Varey (2001) ex- Spurious service-relationship is defined by the au-plains that commitment motivates effort to preserver a thors as “the biased (i.e. non random) (2) behavioral re-relationship and to resist alternative offers, while viewing sponse (i.e. purchase), 3) expressed over time, (4) byhigh-risk action as prudent in the absence of opportunistic some decision-making unit, (5) with respect to one orbehavior – founded on satisfaction and investment. It more alternative service providers out of a set of provid-may be influenced by the actions of third parties (compet- ers, which (6) is a function of inertia, trust deficit, weaking others, etc.). or absent relationship benefits and/or the existence of M. Wetzels et al. (1998) points out that there are two negative bonds.”types of commitment: affective commitment and calcula- V. Lijander and I. Roos states that customers in bothtive commitment. true and spurious relationships may be equally satisfied, According to M. Wetzels et al. (1998) affective com- but with a different degree of commitment expressed asmitment is an affective state of mind an individual or the number of service providers and affective commit-partner has towards relationship with another individual ment.or partner. Affective commitment is based on a sense of In the figure 5 is presented customer relationship lev-liking and emotional attachment to the partnership. els matrix. The matrix created by V. Liljander and I. Other type of commitment according M. Wetzels et Roos integrates affective commitment, trust and rela-al. is calculative commitment. The others point out that tional benefits. There are 8 customer relationship levelscalculative commitment is based on inputs like invest- depending on commitment, trust and relational benefitsments and allocation of recourses specifically for rela- interconnections configuration.tionship between two business partners. Quadrants 2 and 3 in the matrix represent true ser- M. Wetzels et al. suggests that affective commitment vice-relationship with strong attachment based on rela-is the most effective for developing and maintaining mu- tional benefits and trust while other quadrants could betually beneficial relationships between partners because looked on as opportunities for development towards aaffective commitment has strong positive influences on: stronger relationship.1) intention to stay in a relationship, 2) desire to stay in Satisfaction. Service quality and customer satisfac-relationship, 3) performance, 4) willingness to invest in tion terms are used interchangeably, but consensus arerelationship. Also affective commitment has negative growing that the two concepts are fundamentally differ-influences on developing of alternatives for a relationship ent in term of underlying causes and outcomes (T. Hen-and opportunistic behavior while calculative commitment nig-Thurau et al, 2002).has positive impact on development of opportunism and The predominant view is that “quality is the logicalalternatives and therefore has negative impact on rela- predecessor to satisfaction” (Iacobucci et al., 1996).tionships. T. Strandvik and V. Liljander (1995) defines satisfac- V. Liljander and I. Roos (2002) point out that there tion as customer’s cognitive and affective evaluationare spurious customer relationship and true customer re- based on their personal experience across all service epi-lationship. sodes of within the relationship. K. Roberts et al. explains According to V. Liljander and I. Roos (2002), a true that satisfaction is a summary measure that provides ancustomer-service relationship “is (1) the biased (i.e. no evaluation of the quality of the quality of all past interac-random) (2) behavioral response (purchase, word of tions with the service provider and, in doing so, shapesmouth, information sharing, and other positive behav- expectations about the quality of future interactions. 89
  8. 8. M. Bitner and V. Zeithaml (2003) point out that ser- The model created by T. Hennig-Thurau et al. sup-vice quality focuses specifically on dimensions of service port confidence benefits having a strong impact on satis-and is component of customer satisfaction whereas satis- faction, whereas satisfaction is not influenced by eitherfaction is a broader concept. social or special treatment benefits. Figure 6 illustrates distinctions between the two con- Commitment is significantly influenced by socialcepts. Service quality is a focused evaluation that reflects benefits and special treatment benefits.the customer’s perception of elements of service such as Satisfaction has the strongest impact on loyalty bothinteraction quality, physical environment quality and out- directly and indirectly through confidence benefits.come quality. These elements are evaluated based on ser- Trust / confidence benefits have a limited direct im-vice quality (SERVQUAL) dimensions: reliability, assur- pact on loyalty, but they have the second strongest totalance, responsiveness, empathy and tangibles. From the effect on loyalty. Social benefits influence loyalty indi-figure 6 it is clear that satisfaction is influenced by per- rectly through commitment construct. Special treatmentception of service quality, product quality and price. benefits don’t influence loyalty neither directly nor indi-There are situational and personal factors, which have rectly via mediating variables.influence on satisfaction. Interaction Service Situational SERVQUAL dimensions quality quality factors Physical environment Product Satisfac- quality quality tion Outcome Price Personal quality factors Figure 6. Customer perceptions of service quality and satisfac- tion (M. Bitner, V. Zeithaml, 2003) Figure 7. An integrative model of the determinants of key rela- tionship marketing outcomes R. Rust, A. Zahorik and T. Keningham (1996) agree (T. Hennig-Thurau, K. Gwinner, D. Gremler, 2002)that service quality is antecedent of customer satisfaction.The model of chain effects of service quality on profits U. Hansen, T. Hennig-Thurau and F. Larsen (2001)through retention explains this relationship. There are suggested the relationship quality based student loyaltyseven elements in the chain: 1) spending on service qual- model (See figure 8). In this model between 74 % and 78ity, 2) Improved service performance, 3) Increased cus- percent of student loyalty is explained through the sug-tomer satisfaction, 4) increased customer retention, 5) gested constructs of the model therefore the resultsincreased market share, 6) Increased revenues and 7) in- broadly confirm the proposed structure of RQSL model.creased profits. The model explains the chain of effects The model and its structure are based on linear structuralfrom spending on service quality to increased profits. equation approach. The analysis of relationship quality dimensions Trust in institution’s -.00 personnel interactions and services quality influence on .72 .56 LOYALTY loyalty Perceived quality -.08 An integrative model of the determinants of key rela- .38tionship outcomes suggested by T. Hennig-Thurau et al. .16 .39 .11(2002), explains more than 81 % of the variance in the Cognitive Emotional Goalcustomer loyalty construct and more than 35 % of the commitment commitment commitmentvariance in the word-of-mouth construct. Numbers in themodel (see Figure 7) are path coefficients. Path coeffi- .29 .01 -.11cients show the impact of one construct onto another con- Integration intostruct. It is clear that in this model four constructs have Job Commitment academic commitment to non-significant direct impact on loyalty: satisfaction, com- system universitymitment, confidence benefits / trust, and social benefits. .08 activitiesPath coefficients show that satisfaction has the strongest .08impact on consumers loyalty, followed rather closely by Integration into social system Familycommitment, social benefits and confidence benefits / commitmenttrust. It is clear that special treatment benefits have nosignificant direct impact on loyalty. Satisfaction has thestrongest influence on word-of-mouth followed by com- Figure 8. The relationship quality-based student loyaltymitment. model (T. Hennig-Thurau, M. Larsen, U. Hansen, 2001) 90
  9. 9. The model explains, that service quality is determi- and lowers the level of calculative commitment, becausenant which has the strongest impact on loyalty construct, there is a significant negative relationship between thesefollowed by emotional commitment to the institution. The two constructs (path coefficient=-0.23). The more a cus-path coefficient of this relationship is the strongest (0,56). tomer depends on its service provider, the higher its cal-Trust construct has no direct influence on loyalty, but culative commitment in the relationship with that partner,trust has influence on emotional commitment which is and therefore the more it will be balancing gains andabove average. Emotional commitment has strong influ- losses of that relationship. This is proved by relationshipence on loyalty therefore it possible to make deduction between dependence and calculative commitment con-that trust has rather small indirect influence on loyalty structs (path coefficient=0.30).through commitment construct. Interestingly, emotionalcommitment has rather small impact on loyalty construct. TechnicalThe authors of the model explains that that if a customer qualityof university services (student) is locked in a relationshipagainst his or her will, then his or her loyalty to the rela-tionship partner declines after that student is “set free”. Functional SatisfactionGoal commitment has weaker impact on loyalty than ser- qualityvice quality and emotional commitment, but the influence Intentionis still positive and strong. to stay Model explains that both academic and social inte- Trust Affectivegration has a positive impact on emotional commitment. benevolence commitmentThe path coefficient explaining relationship betweenemotional commitment and academic integration con-structs is positive and significant (0.29), therefore it is Trust Calculativepossible to make deduction that this construct is impor- honesty commitmenttant sub-driver of emotional commitment. In contrastsocial integration has positive but rather small impact onemotional commitment, therefore this construct has lim- Dependenceited impact on emotional commitment. It is clear thatneither student’s job commitment nor family commitment Figure 9. Conceptual model (M. Wetzels, K. de Ruyter, M. vanhas no significant negative impact on emotional commit- Birgelen, 1998)ment, therefore these constructs are not negative sub-drivers of emotional commitment. Interestingly, com- Interestingly, there is no relationship between satisfac-mitment to non-university activities construct has signifi- tion and intention to stay. This fact contradicts to the rela-cant negative impact on emotional commitment. It means tionship between satisfaction and loyalty in the model sug-that this construct is significant negative sub-driver of gested by T.Hennig-Thurau et al. (2002) (see Figure 7). Inemotional commitment. this model both types of commitment do influence the in- Another model based on linear structural equation tention to stay, but affective commitment has stronger im-method, which models the impact of different determi- pact (path coefficient 0.39 and 0.14 respectively).nants of loyalty and the interrelationships of these differ- To compare relationship quality and services qualityent constructs is conceptual model suggested by M. Wet- impact on loyalty K. Roberts, S. Varki and R. Brodyzels, K. Ruyter and M. Birgelen (25) (see Figure 9). (2003) developed conceptual model (see Fugure 10). The model proves that significant positive relationship Four Items for measuring consumer loyalty werebetween satisfaction and affective commitment exists (path adapted by authors from Zeithaml, namely, consumer in-coefficient=0.19). Furthermore, satisfaction has significant tention to say positive things about service provider, inten-impact also on calculative commitment construct. tion to encourage friends and relatives to do business with Model explains that higher technical quality of the service provider, intention to keep purchasing servicesservice will result in higher commitment because techni- from service provider, and intention to purchase additionalcal quality construct has strong impact on commitment services from service provider. 5 items for measuring rela-(path coefficient=0.16). Interestingly, there is no signifi- tionship quality were derived from various authors. Thesescant impact of functional quality on commitment. Both dimensions were analyzed in previous sections of this pa-technical and functional dimensions of quality have no per. Service quality was measured using SERVQAUL di-significant impact on calculative commitment. A positive mensions, suggested by V. Zeithaml, V. Berry and L.relation exists between technical quality and satisfaction Parasuraman: Tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assur-(path coefficient=0.33). The same applies to functional ance, and empathy. The model explains that service qualityquality (path coefficient=0.16), but technical quality has influences relationship quality (path coefficient=1.36).stronger impact. Relationship quality in turn has significant impact on loy- The model explains that there is strong positive rela- alty (path coefficient=0.52). Interestingly, there is no directtionship between trust (benevolence) and affective com- effect of service quality on loyalty (path coefficient=-0.1),mitment (path coefficient=0.28). Trust also has signifi- but direct effect is completely mediated by relationshipcant impact on calculative commitment (path coeffi- quality, therefore its possible to make deduction that rela-cient=0.40. It is proved that honesty is significant deter- tionship quality scale completely subsumes the effect ofminant of affective commitment (path coefficient=0.33) the service quality scale. 91
  10. 10. Figure 10. The influence of service quality on relationship quality and loyalty (R. Brodie, K. Roberts, S. Varki, 2003)Conclusions and there is no accompanying measurement scale similar to servqual and gaps model.1. In the literature published service quality models 3. The analysis of fundamental research works have serious weaknesses. Service quality models helped identify these main possible relationship and instruments are limited to evaluation of a ser- quality dimensions: functional and technical ser- vice episode and are static. Relationship marketing vices quality, satisfaction, social benefits, special paradigm requires dynamic approach, which could treatment benefits, calculus based trust, knowledge help to assess service quality in the dynamic long- based trust, identification trust, calculative and af- term perspective along with others relationship fective commitment. quality dimensions. The perceived service quality 4. The analysis of fundamental research works model is basically static, although image factor showed that services quality is fundamental rela- gives the model dynamic aspect. The Gummeson tionship quality dimension and consumer loyalty 4Q model of offering quality is basically static too, driver having the biggest influence on it. No one but relationship quality and image variables gives loyalty determinant has strongest influence on it model dynamic aspect. The advantage of servqual (0.56). Empirically tested the relationship quality or gaps model is that that this model explains very based student loyalty model suggested by T. Hen- clearly service quality and its dimensions on the nig – Thurau prooved the main hypothesis of theo- episode level. Also the sources of bad service retical V. Liljander and T. Strandvik (1995) model quality at the episode level are explained very that service quality is main consumer loyalty clear. These models should be integrated into more driver. Second by importance customer loyalty advanced loyalty models as dimensions, having in- driver is satisfaction. Interestingly both constructs fluence on consumer loyalty. have direct impact on loyalty and indirect through2. The analysis of theoretical relationship quality commitment construct. Exception is model sug- model suggested by V. Liljander and T. Strandvik gested by M. Wetzels et al. where satisfaction has (1995) showed that this theoretical model is useful only indirect impact on loyalty through affective and helps understand main relationship quality commitment. This difference may exist because of formation principles. The model is dynamic and very different services were tested. Services qual- focusing on long-time approach. Service quality in ity also is important antecedent of trust and trust / this model is treated not as a single variable, but as confidence benefits have very significant impact a loyalty determinant belonging to the system of on satisfaction. It means that services can influ- determinants influencing customer loyalty and in- ence satisfaction indirectly through trust. teracting with each other. Another advantage is the inclusion of variables describing customer behav- References ior variables in addition to the perceptual vari- ables. However, model has weak points. The con- 1. Berry, L. Relationship marketing of services – growing interests, emerging perspectives: Handbook of relationship marketing. London: structs of the model is very vaguely defined and Sage publications, p. 149-170. there is only several loyalty determinants while 2. Brodie, R. Measuring the quality of relationships in consumer ser- literature analysis showed that there are more pos- vices: an empirical study/ R. Brodie, K. Roberts, S. Varki // European sible significant loyalty drivers. Another weak Journal of Marketing, 2003, No 37, p. 196-196. point of this model is that the model is theoretical 3. Christopher, M. Marketing relationship: creating shareholder value/ 92
  11. 11. M. Christopher, A. Payne, D. Ballantyne. Oxford, 2002. 242 p. ISBN 26. Zeithaml, V. Services marketing: integrating customer focus across 0-7506-4839-2. the firm / V. Zeithaml, M. Bitner. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 6684. Crotts, J. Determinants of intra-firm trust in buyer-seller relationships in p. ISBN 0071199144. the international travel trade / J. Crotts, G. Turne // International Journal of contemporary hospitality management, 1999, No 2, p. 116-123. Tomas Palaima5. Gordon, Ian H. Relationship marketing: new strategies, techniques, Santykių marketingas: paslaugų kokybės santykinė reikšmė and technologies to win the customers you want and keep them for- ever. Toronto etc, 1998. XX. 314 p. ISBN 0-471-64173-1. Santrauka6. Grönroos, Ch. From marketing mix to relationship marketing-- Tretinis ekonomikos sektorius arba paslaugų sektorius šiandie- towards a paradigm shift in marketing // Management Decision. nos ekonomikoje darosi vis reikšmingesnis. 1999 metais net 80 % 1997, No 3/4, p. 322. ISSN: 0025-1747. visos JAV darbo jėgos buvo sukoncentruota paslaugų sektoriuje, o7. Grönroos, Ch. Marketing services: the case of a missing product // paslaugų indėlis į JAV BVP sudarė mažiausiai 78 %. Ši stipriausios Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing. 1998, No 4/5, p. 17. pasaulio ekonomikos statistika byloja, jog šiandieninė ekonomika – ISSN: 0885-8624. paslaugų ekonomika (Bitner, Zeithaml, 2003).8. Grönroos, Ch. Service management and marketing: a customer rela- Didėjanti konkurencija, sparčiai kintanti vartotojų elgsena, nuo- tionship management approach. Chichester, 2001. 394 p. ISBN 0- lat didėjantys paslaugų kokybės reikalavimai, sparti technologinė 471-72034-8. kaita išryškina tradicinių marketingo principų neadekvatumą esamai situacijai (Virvilaitė, Dovalienė, 2003). Vartotojai darosi vis labiau9. Gummesson, E. Total relationship marketing : marketing strategy patyrę vartotojų ekonomikos aplinkoje, todėl vis mažiau reaguojama į moving from the 4Ps – product, price, promotion, place – of tradi- tradicines marketingo priemones. Pastarieji pokyčiai lėmė marketingo tional marketing management to the 30Rs – the thirty relationships – paradigmos pokyčius (Christopher, Payne, Ballantyne, 2002). of a new marketing paradigm. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann, Taigi santykių marketingas akcentuoja santykius, o ne sandėrius. 2003. 352 p. ISBN 0-7506-5407-4. Koncepcija remiasi vartotojų išlaikymo ekonomikos principais. Tei-10. Gummesson, E. Quality management in services organizations. Qual- giama, kad finansiniai ištekliai turi būti efektyviai paskirstyti taip, ity Management in Service Organizations. New York: ISQA, 1993. kad būtų subalansuotas naujųjų paslaugos vartotojų pritraukimas ir11. Gwinner, K. Relational Benefits in Services Industries: The Cus- esamų išlaikymas ir taip maksimizuota vartotojų aktyvų vertė (Chris- tomer’s Perspective / K. Gwinner, D. Gremler, M. Bitner // Journal of topher, Payne, Ballantyne, 2002; Rust, Lemon; Zeithaml, 2004). the Academy of Marketing Science, 1998, 26 (Spring), p. 101-114. Santykių marketingo koncepcija pabrėžia vidinio marketingo svarbą bei aiškina, jog santykių marketingas yra daugiafunkcinis.12. Hennig-Thurau, T. Relationship marketing: gaining competitive Taigi marketingas šiuo atveju yra pagrįstas abipusiais santykiais advantage through customer satisfaction and customer retention / T. tarp paslaugos teikėjo ir vartotojo, o paslaugų, marketingo ir paslaugų Hennig-Thurau, U. Hansen, editors. Springer, 2000. ISBN 3-540- kokybės integracija yra esminė plėtojant šiuos santykius. Vartotojas 66942-6. bus lojalus, jeigu suvoks, kad santykis jam bus naudingas.13. Hennig-Thurau, T. Understanding relationship marketing outcomes: Mokslinėje literatūroje pateikiami paslaugų kokybės modeliai an integration of relationship benefits and relationship quality / T. turi rimtų trūkumų. Pateikiami paslaugų kokybės modeliai dažniau- Hennig-Thurau, K. Gwinner, D. Gremler // Journal of Services Re- siai apsiriboja tam tikru siauresniu paslaugos epizodu ir yra statinės search, 2002, No 3, p. 230-247. prigimties, o tuo tarpu santykių marketingo paradigma reikalauja14. Hennig-Thurau, T. Modeling and managing student loyalty: an ap- dinaminio požiūrio, kuris įvertintų paslaugų procesų kokybę dinami- proach based on the concept of relationship quality / T. Hennig- nėje perspektyvoje. Paslaugos yra procesai, o paslaugų vartotojų Thurau, M. Langer, U. Hansen // Journal of service research, 2001, kokybės suvokimas vystosi ir kinta laiko perspektyvoje formuojantis Vol. 3, No 4, p. 331-344. santykiui tarp paslaugos teikėjo ir vartotojo. Ch. Grönroos aiškina, jog nuo statinės paslaugos kokybės sąvokos būtina pereiti prie dina-15. Iacobucci, D. A canonical model of consumer evaluations and theo- minės santykių kokybės sąvokos ir teigia, jog santykių kokybė yra retical bases of expectations / D. Iacobucci, A. Ostrom, B. Braig, A. ilgalaikio paslaugos kokybės formavimosi dinamika tęstiniuose san- Bezjian-Avery // Advances in services marketing and management, tykiuose su paslaugos vartotojais. Deja, ši definicija neįneša didelio 1996, Vol. 5, p. 1-44. aiškumo, o tik paryškina probleminį aspektą (Grönroos, 2001; Liljan-16. Johnson, D. Sources and dimensions of trust in service relationships / der, Strandvik, 1995). D. Johnson, K. Grayson // Handbook of services marketing and man- V. Lijander ir T. Strandvik taip pat pabrėžia Ch. Grönroos ak- agement. London: SAGE Publications, 1999. ISBN: 0761916121. centuotą probleminį aspektą ir pasiūlo sprendimą, pateikdami santy-17. Liljander, V. Customer-relationship levels – from spurious to true kių kokybės modelį. relationships /V. Liljander, I. Roos // Journal of services marketing, Modelis paaiškina, kaip paslaugos kokybė akumuliuojasi į san- 2002, Vol. 16, No 7. p. 593-614. tykių kokybę. Paslaugos epizodo vertė susiformuoja, iš epizodo ko- kybės atėmus epizodo sąnaudas. Epizodo vertė veikia įvaizdį ir įsi-18. Liljander, V. The nature of customer relationships in services/V. traukimą (angl. commitment), kuris apibrėžiamas kaip požiūris į Liljander, T. Strandvik // Advances in services marketing and man- sąveiką bei tolimesnius ketinimus veikti. Jeigu pradiniuose paslaugos agement, 1995, London, No 4, p. 141-167. procesuose epizodo kokybė patenka į vartotojo tolerancijos zoną, tai19. Marketing services: the case of a missing product // Journal of Busi- tuomet gauta vertė teigiamai veikia įvaizdį ir tolimesnius ketinimus ness & Industrial Marketing. ISSN: 0885-8624. 1998, No 4/5, p. 17. veikti. Tada vartotojas kartoja paslaugų procesų ciklus, kurie vėliau20. Morgan R. The commitment – trust theory of relationship marketing / susikaupia į vartotojo pasitenkinimo epizodu dydį. Tai savo ruožtu R. Morgan, S. Hunt // Journal of Marketing, 1994, Vol. 58, p. 1-38. jau ne tik paveikia vartotojo įsitraukimą, bet ir pradeda formuoti saitus tarp paslaugos teikėjo ir vartotojo. Palaipsniui pereinama ir21. Rust, R. Service marketing / R. Rust, A. Zahorik, T. Keiningham. aukštesnį santykio lygį. Patirto santykio kokybė dabar jau daug pla- New York: 1996. 508 p. ISBN 0-673-99145-8. tesnėje laiko perspektyvoje yra palyginama su santykio sąnaudomis.22. Steth, J. Handbook of relationship marketing // J. Steth, A. Parvatiyar Jeigu santykio kokybė patenka į santykio tolerancijos zoną, tuomet, editors. Sage publications, 1999. ISBN 0761918108. santykio vertė susikaupia į vartotojo pasitenkinimo santykiu dimensi-23. Varey, Richard J. Relationship marketing: dialogue and networks in ją, kuri galiausiai veikia vartotojų lojalumą. the e-commerce era. Chichester, 2002. xviii, 217 p. ISBN 0-470- Be to, modelis paaiškina, jog santykių kokybė yra konstrukcija, 84341-1. kuri turi vartotojų pasitenkinimo, vartotojų įsitraukimo, paslaugos kokybės, santykio ir epizodo vertės dimensijas, kurios veikia paslau-24. Virvilaitė R. Santykių marketingo konceptualioji esmė ir ištakos / gos vartotojo lojalumą. Aistė Dovalienė, Regina Virvilaitė // Inžinerinė ekonomika = Engi- Modelis pateikia pagrindinius santykių kokybės principus ir pa- neering Economics / Kauno technologijos universitetas. ISSN 1392- aiškina santykių kokybės dinaminę prigimtį bei dinaminius principus. 2785. Kaunas: Technologija, 2003, No 2(33), p. 100-105. Modelis parodo, kad paslaugos kokybė užima svarbią vietą formuo-25. Wetzels, M. Marketing service relationships: the role of commitment jantis santykiams ir yra santykių kokybės tarp paslaugos teikėjo ir / M. Wetzels, Ko de Ruyter, M. van Birgelen // Journal of business & vartotojo fundamentas, veikiantis vartotojo lojalumą. Tačiau ištyrimo industrial marketing, 1998, Vol. 13, No 4/5. lygis nėra pakankamas. Kitaip tariant, nepaaiškinami plačiau ir 93
  12. 12. kompleksiškiau šie probleminiai aspektai: 1) Santykių kokybės di- lemiantys veiksniai yra komunikacija, kooperacija, socialiniai saitaimensijos. Neaišku, kurios santykių kokybės dimensijos sudaro santy- ir struktūriniai saitai.kių kokybės konstrukciją. Taip pat nėra aiškios šių santykių kokybės Prisirišimas. M. Wetzels ir kiti (1998) skirsto prisirišimą į emo-dimensijų sampratos. 2) Modelyje kaip santykių kokybės dimensijos cinį prisirišimą ir išskaičiavimais paremtą prisirišimą. Emocinis prisi-įvardijami tik paslaugos kokybė, vartotojų pasitenkinimas ir vartotojų rišimas – vieno santykių dalyvio emocinis požiūris į kitą santykioįsitraukimas. Santykių kokybė jokiu būdu neapsiriboja vien šitomis dalyvį. Išskaičiavimu paremtas prisirišimas yra tam tikra investicijųdimensijomis, todėl būtina plėtoti platesnį holistinį požiūrį. forma. Taigi tolesnėje straipsnio dalyje analizuojamos santykių kokybės Pasitenkinimas. T. Strandvik ir V. Liljander (1995) apibrėžia pa-dimensijos (lojalumo determinantai). sitenkinimą kaip visų santykio epizodų kognityvinį ir emocinį įverti- Santykių nauda. V. Liljander (2002) teigia, kad santykių nauda – nimą. M. Bitner ir V. Zeithaml (2003) aiškina, kad paslaugų kokybėspapildomi privalumai, kuriuos vartotojas gauna kartu su pagrindine pagrindas yra paslaugų kokybės dimensijos, o pasitenkinimas yrapaslauga. Šie privalumai gaunami ilgalaikio vartojimo dėka. Jie sieja platesnė sąvoka. Pasitenkinimą lemia paslaugų kokybė, produktopaslaugos teikėją su vartotoju ir daro konkurentų pasiūlymus mažiau kokybė ir kaina. Taip pat poveikį pasitenkinimui daro situaciniai irpatrauklius. Gwinner ir kiti (1998) išskiria tris santykių naudos kate- asmeniniai veiksniai.gorijas: pasitikėjimo nauda, socialinė nauda, ypatingo vartotojo trak- Sisteminė literatūros analizė leido padaryti išvadą, kad paslaugųtavimo nauda. L. Berry (2002) aiškina, kad santykių marketingas kokybė yra fundamentali santykių kokybės dimensija ir kartu vartoto-pirmiausia remiasi socialine nauda (arba socialiniais saitais). T. Hen- jų lojalumo determinantas, kuris turi didžiausią poveikį vartotojųnig-Thurau (2002) teigia, kad socialinė nauda nusakoma asmeniniu lojalumui.vartotojo pažinimu. Pasitikėjimo nauda apibrėžiama kaip komfortas ir T. Hennig-Thurau (2001) empiriškai patikrintas santykių koky-minimizuota baimė dėl numatomų paslaugos teikimo pasekmių. Ypa- bės modelis leidžia daryti išvadą, kad V. Lijander ir T. Strandviktingo vartotojo traktavimo nauda apibrėžiama kaip greta pagrindinės (1995) teorinio modelio hipotezė, jog paslaugų kokybė yra pagrindi-paslaugos gaunama nauda, kuri pasireiškia kainų nuolaidomis, spar- nis lojalumo determinantai, yra teisinga.tesniu paslaugų teikimu arba individualizuotu papildomų paslaugų Antras pagal svarbą lojalumo determinantas yra vartotojųteikimu. pasitenkinimas. Pažymėtina, kad abu šie konstruktai turi ir tiesioginį, Pasitikėjimas. J. Crotts ir G. Turner (1999) išskiria penkis pasi- ir netiesioginį poveikį vartotojų lojalumui per emocinį įsitraukimą.tikėjimo tipus: aklas pasitikėjimas, išskaičiuotas pasitikėjimas, tikri- Paslaugų kokybė taip pat yra svarbus pasitikėjimo determinantas irnamas pasitikėjimas, pelnytas pasitikėjimas, abipusis pasitikėjimas. daro didelį poveikį vartotojų pasitenkinimui, o pasitikėjimas daroAklas pasitikėjimas pasižymi pažinimo ir žinių trūkumu, neraciona- didelį poveikį vartotojų pasitenkinimui, todėl galima daryti išvadą,liais vertinimo būdais. Išskaičiuotas pasitikėjimas remiasi santykių kad paslaugų kokybė veikia pasitenkinimą netiesiogiai per pasi-metu patiriamais išlaidomis ir nauda. Tikrinamas pasitikėjimas re- tikėjimąmiasi galimybe vartotojui ir paslaugos teikėjui patikrinti vienam kitoveiksmus. Pelnytas pasitikėjimas yra paremtas patirtimi. Aukščiausia Raktažodžiai: kokybė, paslaugų kokybė, santykių kokybė, santykių marke-pasitikėjimo forma – abipusis pasitikėjimas. Abipusį pasitikėjimą tingas The article has been reviewed. Received in January, 2006; accepted in February, 2006. 94