Continuous commitment is based on the consumer’s consumption context.It may result from scarcity of alternatives.Behavioral loyalty is customers’ actions and measurement of the purchases of the same brands and services.Consumers can be highly loyal, although, there are low customer satisfaction levels because of the non-existence of other alternatives.
The Strength of Affective Commitment in Securing Loyalty in Service Relationships
THE STRENGTH OF AFFECTIVECOMMITMENT IN SECURING LOYALTY INSERVICE RELATIONSHIPSHeiner Evanschitzky, Gopalkrishnan R. Iyer, HilkePlassmann, Joerg Niessing, Heribert MeffertGonzalez, Kara, Macazaga, Rellama, Velickaite, WcisloServices Marketing – IESEG School of Management
Background of the Study Customer Loyalty • Attitudinal • Behavioral Commitment • Affective • Continuance
Objective of the Study To determine the importance of each of the dimensions of commitment in achieving customer loyalty.
H1: Affectivecommitment has a AC involves the self-evaluation of the positive impact on consumption context and the active attitudinal loyalty. decision to engage in a long-termReflective measurement relationship. modelsAffective commitment Capture the extent to AC → AL: Attitude strength and the which customers: • Trust extent to which the customer is willing to • Identify lock into a specific relationship. • Emotional Attitudinal loyalty AL is when the relative strength of the Was measured using: attitude towards the brand is stonger. • Satisfaction • Affective commitment SUPPORTED
H2: Continuancecommitment hasa positive impact on attitudinal loyalty. Continuance Commitment: • Definition: The • Costumers may remain in a relationship consumer’s desire for mainly 2 reasons: to remain in the relationship when 1. They have no reason to evaluate the the switching relationship or to take active measures to costs are high or seek out alternative relationships. when the costumer perceives that 2. High perceived costs. other viable alternatives are scarce.
H2: Continuance Continuance commitment has a weak, commitment has a yet significant, impact on attitudinal positive impact on loyalty, and a relatively strong impact attitudinal loyalty on behavioral loyalty.Continuancecommitment - aformative construct.Formative indicators:the major factors thatcostumers identified asbeing important in theiruse of a particularservice provider, andinclude:• measures for scarcity of alternatives• availability of options involuntary choiseloyalty program SUPPORTED membership.
H3: Affective commitment has a positiveimpact on behavioral loyalty.• Continuance commitment is based on consumers consumptions.• In some cases… • Consumers are not able to manipulate direct on his/her continuance commitment level • Example: Continuance commitment = lack of alternatives • Some customers can be low-satisfaction consumers • Examples of low-satisfaction industries: • airlines, local phones SUPPORTED
H4: Continuous commitment has apositive impact on behavioral loyalty.• Model: Formative measurement model with 4 indicators • Scarcity of alternatives • Availability of options • Involuntary choice • Loyalty program membership• These indicators explain 60% of the variation (acceptable validity).• Results: Continuance commitment has a relatively strong impact on behavioral loyalty. SUPPORTED
H5: The impacts of affective commitmenton both attitudinal and behavioral loyaltyare greater than the impacts ofcontinuance commitment on attitudinaland behavioral loyalty.• Method used: Multi-group causal analysis• End result: The critical value was high and significant, thus supporting the claims of H5. SUPPORTED
Summary of ResultsHypothesis ResultAffective commitment has a positive impact on attitudinal Supportedloyalty.Continuance commitment has a positive impact on Supportedattitudinal loyalty.Affective commitment has a positive impact on behavioral Supportedloyalty.Continuous commitment has a positive impact on behavioral Supportedloyalty.The impacts of affective commitment on both attitudinal and Supportedbehavioral loyalty are greater than the impacts ofcontinuance commitment on attitudinal and behavioralloyalty.
Managerial Implications• Loyalty has a multi-dimensional construct.• Affective commitment drives behavioral loyalty.• Loyalty cards, discount cards may not be doing enough to secure loyalty.• Deep discounts may not even be that necessary at all.• Service-providers must slowly switch to enhancing customer attachment through non-economic means. • One possible solution: loyalty clubs where customers can share their own experiences
Limitations and Recommendations• Limited to the Mass Transit industry• The study used cross-sectional survey data, rejecting possible time-lag effects.