Customer Satisfaction

China School of Business, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China article info abstract understanding the antecedents and consequences of customer satisfaction in the mobile communications market Is Important. This study explores the effects of service quality and Justice on customer satisfaction. Which, In turn. Affects continuance intention of mobile services. Service quality, justice and customer satisfaction were measured by multiple dimensions.

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A research model was developed based on this multidimensional approach and was empirically examined with data collected from about one thousand users of mobile value-added services in China. Results show that all three dimensions of service quality (interaction quality, environment quality and outcome quality) have significant and positive effects on cumulative satisfaction while only one dimension of service quality (Interaction quality) has a significant and positive effect on transaction-specific satisfaction.

Besides procedural Justice, the other two dimensions of justice (distributive Justice and international justice) significantly influence both transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction. Furthermore, both types of customer satisfaction have significant and positive effects on continuance Intention. Implications for research and practice are discussed. 0 201 1 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 23 September 2010 Received in revised form 7 October 2011 Accepted 23 October 2011 Available online 29 October 2011 Keywords: Service quality Justice Transaction-specific satisfaction Cumulative satisfaction Continuance intention Mobile value-added services provision of various kinds of value-added services by mobile service providers is on the rise around the world. As the market becomes more and more mature, value- added services become more homogeneous and the competition for acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers becomes more intense.

In this environment, customer satisfaction is a critical factor for mobile service providers to maintain or improve their market share and profitability. Prior studies have found that customer satisfaction contributes to a firm’s profitability and customer retention [33,35]. In a reorganization of the communications industry in China between 2008 and 2009, the original six mobile network operators were reduced to three. Meanwhile, the availability of dehydrogenation telecommunications technologies suggested that more mobile value-added services would be provided to the customers.

A recent value-added services survey report on mobile communications conducted by Analyses in 2010 predicted that, the competition among existing mobile network operators would become fierce after the reorganization of the industry and the introduction of * Corresponding authors. Tell. : + 86 27 87556448. E-mail addresses: [email protected] Hush. Deed. CNN (L. Chaos), [email protected] Hush. Deed. CNN (Y. Lu), [email protected] Com (L. Ghana), [email protected] Husk. Has (P. Y. K. Chaw). 0167-9236/$ – see front matter 2011 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved. Ii:10. 1016/ j. Ads. 2011. 10. 022 third-generation services. Thus, for these mobile network operators, in order to retain customers, enhancing customer satisfaction is an urgent task to tackle with. Moreover, as new mobile value-added services are released, service providers need to focus on if these new services appeal to customers and on the willingness of customers to continue to use the services. Therefore, understanding the antecedents and consequences of customer satisfaction in regard to mobile value-added services is important.

This study aims to investigate two factors that are closely related to customer satisfaction, service quality and Justice. Although they are frequently investigated in service marketing and customer behavior research, these two factors are rarely examined at the same time in information technology (IT) use studies. Many prior studies reported in the service marketing and consumer behavior literature have found evidence of the importance of service quality to consumer satisfaction [10,78].

Service quality is closely related to consumer satisfaction as it reflects the customers’ evaluation of the performance of service providers. Service quality is a multidimensional construct and different researchers have proposed efferent dimensions to capture the essence of this critical factor in influencing customer satisfaction. Several researchers have explored specific quality dimensions of this type of service in the mobile services environment [20,54,65,95]. We incorporate these specific dimensions in our research model and examine how they influence customer satisfaction. L. Chaos et al. Detections support systems 52 (2012) 645-656 experiences, they also consider Justice since their consumption can be considered as an exchange between the service provider and the consumer [85]. Most users of bile value-added services have an intrinsic motive to seek Justice when engaging in an exchange with service providers because they have to pay for their subscriptions for these services. Justice involves a subjective fairness Judgment of individuals if what they procured or how they were treated was fair under a specific context, especially in a situation with uncertainty [91].

Recent marketing studies have examined this service fairness aspect as a “Justice” concept [49,85], and found that being treated fairly was an important consideration to customers when they were evaluating their satisfaction with the services provided [67]. Similar to service quality, justice can be determined from several dimensions that are related to the outcome or the process of the service provision. We also incorporate these dimensions into our research model. Customer satisfaction leads to positive outcomes, especially in predicting future intention to use a service.

For example, research in service marketing and consumer behavior has found strong support for the positive impact of customer satisfaction on repurchase intention [12,22]. Customer satisfaction is a dynamic, complex and context-specific construct [39] that has been divided into orientation-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction [10,21]. Though the two types of satisfaction are highly correlated, they are different conceptualization of satisfaction and serve different purpose [51 ,77]. In this study, we distinguish between these two types of customer satisfaction and investigate their antecedents and outcomes.

In summary, the contributions of this study are threefold. First, we incorporate two factors (service quality and Justice) that have been rarely investigated together in technology adoption/acceptance studies into our research model and examine their possible influence on customer satisfaction. Second, we examine both factors as multi-dimensional constructs rather than treating them as nun-dimensional constructs. Third, we distinguish between transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction and examine how they might influence the adoption/acceptance behavior of mobile value-added services.

The paper is organized as follows. The theoretical background of the study is presented in the next section. The research model and corresponding hypotheses are then described, followed by a review of the study design and data collection procedures. The discussion section presents the results of the study. The paper concludes with a summary of the stud’s findings, its limitations and its implications for technology adoption research and practice. 2. Theoretical background 2. 1 . Customer satisfaction The psychological processes that motivate customer satisfaction response are complex.

The formation of satisfaction can be considered as evaluative (cognitive), emotion-based or both [75]. Research on the emotional bases of satisfaction mainly investigates how customers’ positive and negative emotions resulting from service encounters affect their satisfaction [74,86]. Research on the cognitive bases of distractions pays attention to the formation of cognition and how such cognition affects a user’s emotional response and subsequent behavior [70]. In our study, we focused on the cognitive bases and regarded satisfaction itself as an affective state McKinney et al. 70] who stated that satisfaction is “an effective state representing an emotional response” to the service encounter. From a cognitive perspective, satisfaction resulted from the customers’ evaluation of their experience. For example, the expectation disinformation paradigm is widely used to investigate the antecedents of satisfaction [73]. According to this paradigm, customers have expectations before consumption and evaluate the actual performance after consumption. Positive disinformation between the expectation and evaluation leads to satisfaction and negative disinformation results in dissatisfaction.

Later, researchers found that performance evaluation also influenced customer satisfaction directly [10]. Because of the complex features of service, researchers considered that satisfaction should be attribute based. That is, customer satisfaction results from the performance of attributes of the service [74]. Thus, in this study, scales to measure end-user satisfaction are developed from this angle [29,66,72,93]. In their information systems (IS) success model, Delano and Mclean [27] found that IS user satisfaction was determined by system quality and information quality.

After extended research, they added service quality to the IS success model as an antecedent of user satisfaction [28]. Besides quality evaluation, researchers have also found that Justice is another important cognitive theme in satisfaction research [74]. In the mobile services context, the cognitive determinants of satisfaction, especially the Joint influences of service quality and Justice on satisfaction, have been scarcely studied. An important perspective of looking at customer satisfaction focuses on the “dynamic” or temporal nature of customer satisfaction.

From a “dynamic” perspective, customer satisfaction is conceptualized as transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction [52]. Transaction-specific satisfaction is an evaluative judgment of a specific service encounter at a single point in time whereas cumulative satisfaction is the overall evaluation of all services encountered over time [50,75]. In there words, transaction-specific satisfaction forms based on information about a service encounter and is influenced by specific attributes of the service.

Cumulative satisfaction, on the other hand, provides information about an organization’s service performance over time, and thus is influenced by factors across service encounters. Therefore, cumulative satisfaction can be considered as an accumulation of transaction-specific satisfaction at various points of time. Johnson [51] pointed out that transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction are more complementary than competing, and the purposes they serve are different.

For example, transmogrification’s satisfaction is better to track the changes in performance and customers’ reaction to these changes, while cumulative satisfaction is better to understand customer-company relationship over time [77]. Olsen and Johnson [77] found that when taking into account equity, the ways that transaction- specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction affected customers’ behavior intention were different. Thus, distinguishing these two types of satisfaction would help us better understand how they affect customers’ behavior and how to cultivate them in proper way.

Many studies of mobile service acceptance/adoption have looked at factors affecting customer/ user satisfaction [5,55,57,59,94]. These studies, specific satisfaction. 2. 2. Service quality Service quality has been extensively investigated over the past three decades. In IS research, Pit et al. [80] first pointed out that IS researchers should include a measure of IS service quality in the assessment of IS effectiveness. Delano and McLean [28] extended their IS success model by highlighting the importance of service quality in IS success.

Service quality is a complex concept and there are two main methods to measure this variable. The first method regards service quality as the discrepancy between customers’ expectations and perceptions of the service [45,78]. The second method conceptualizes service quality as “the consumers’ overall impression of the relative inferiority/superiority of the organization and its services” [9, p. 77]. In this study, we use the second method to measure service quality as 647 the former method may lead to poor validity resulting from the use of difference scores which are calculated by subtracting exceptions from perceptions [31].

A review of the literature also suggests that service quality is a multi-dimensional incept regardless of which measuring method is used. For example, Garömorons [45] proposed that service quality contained two dimensions;technical quality, which is related to what consumers get from the service encounter, and functional quality, which is related to how the service is delivered. Later on, Pursuant et al. [78] proposed a five-dimensional framework for service quality, comprising reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibility.

Based on these five dimensions, they developed a 22-item instrument called SURVIVAL, which has become a widely seed instrument to measure service quality in subsequent service marketing studies. Subsequent studies, however, suggested the limitations of the SURVIVAL instrument [31], thus leading to the emergence of several alternative instruments. Rust and Oliver [82] recommended a three-component service quality model and proposed that service quality should be measured by three dimensions, I. E. Service product, service delivery and service environment. Deborah et al. [25] suggested a multilevel model in which service quality is assessed by five primary dimensions (physical aspects, reliability, personal interactions, problem solving, and policy) and six sub- dimensions (appearance, convenience, promises, doing it right, inspiring confidence, and being courteous and helpful). They found support for the model by conducting empirical tests. Brady and Crooning [13] constructed a hierarchical model to measure service quality.

In their model, service quality has three dimensions (I. E. , interaction quality, physical environment quality and outcome quality) and each of these primary dimensions has three sub-dimensions, including attitude, behavior, and expertise for interaction quality; ambient conditions, design, and social factors for physical environment quality; waiting time, tangibles and valence for outcome quality. Through qualitative and empirical research, they obtained strong support that their multidimensional, hierarchical model measured service quality.

Many subsequent this tatterdemalion’s model and found strong supporting evidence All these studies indicate that the measurement of service quality varies across the type of service. Recent studies of mobile service acceptance/adoption also adopt the multi-dimensional approach for measuring service quality. For instance, Kim et al. [55] conducted an empirical study and obtained three significant service measures that they called quality, valuated services and customer support from an initial group of six measures.

Limit [61] also looked at the mobile services quality issue and identified five important dimensions of mobile services quality, I. E. , pricing plans, network quality, mobile data services, billing systems, and customer services. Choc and Sung [20]introduced six dimensions to measure service quality of mobile Internet services, including responsiveness, assurance, empathy, convenience, usefulness, and diversity. Their findings show that each dimension of service quality significantly influences customer satisfaction [20]. More recently, based on Brady and Carrion’s [13] model, Lu et al. 65] developed a multidimensional and hierarchical model to measure mobile service quality. They proposed that mobile service quality was composed of three primary dimensions, interaction quality, environment quality and outcome quality, and each primary dimension further included sub-dimensions. An instrument was developed and empirically tested using data collected from 438 mobile brokerage service users. Strong empirical support for the model and the instrument was obtained [65]. In our study, we use Lu et al. ‘s [65] multidimensional model of mobile service quality. We chose Lu et al. s model because it was developed in a mobile services context and it was shown to be empirically valid. According to Lu et al. [65], interaction quality reflects the “quality of a customer’s interaction with the mobile service provider during the service delivery’ [65, p. 232]. This dimension consisted of attitude, expertise, problem solving and information. Environment quality refers to the consumer’s evaluation of the quality of equipment that is used, the extent to which the interface is well signed, and the extent to which the service is delivered under proper contexts.

Outcome quality was defined as “what the customer is left with when the production process is finished [45, p. 38]”. Many studies have shown that outcome quality significantly affected the perceived service quality 2. 3. Justice Stemming from social exchange theory and equity theories, Justice provides a useful perspective for understanding customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and customer complaint [85]. Many studies reported in the service marketing and organizational behavior literature have looked into Justice and its relationship with other individual behavior variables [8,86].

Viewed as a multi-dimensional construct, Justice is generally conceptualized in terms of three dimensions including international Justice, procedural Justice, and distributive Justice [8]. These three dimensions address the whole exchange process, including the outcome, how the outcome is achieved and the manner in which the individuals are treated during the process [4]. Even though these three aspects of Justice are correlated, they are viewed as distinct dimensions. International Justice was defined as the fairness of interpersonal treatment an individual received during the process of activity conducting [8,88].

It involves the Some specific aspects suggested in the international Justice literature are “courtesy’, “respect”, “interest”, “careful listening”, “effort”, “trust”, “explanation”, “empathy’, “apology’, and “communication” [87]. Procedural Justice focuses on the fairness of the process [68]. Since the service outcome is generated by procedures, procedural justice is an important consideration in Justice evaluation [85]. Three criteria for procedural Justice in general situations, including consistency, neutrality, and accuracy of information, were outlined in the literature [60].

Furthermore, some more specific indicators are also provided when assessing procedural Justice, including “timeliness”, “promptness”, “approach”, “flexibility’, “procedure control”, “outcome control”, “right policy and execution”, and “appropriate method” [68,87]. Distributive justice refers to the perceived equity of the outcome of the process [85], which is defined as the extent of customers’ feelings of fairness based on comparing their benefits with costs [11,77].

Distributive Justice is perceived when customers feel that heir equity score, which is formed by comparing their input and output during an exchange, is proportional to the scores of a referent point or referent others [1 ,85]. In marketing research, Justice is usually used to study events like service failure and recovery encounters, and ample empirical evidence shows that customers’ perceived justice is critical to their satisfaction with a firm’s efforts [41 Smith and Bolton [86] examined service failure in two service settings (I. . , restaurants and hotels). Their results indicated that Justice is a cognitive antecedent of service encounter satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction. These studies imply that when events, such as service failure/recovery encounter, trigger more interactions between customers and firms, customers tend to expect to get Just responses from firms [87]. This is why research focused on customer complaint behaviors found that Justice contributes to enhancing customer satisfaction [68,88].

Different from the expectation confirmation/ disinformation paradigm of satisfaction formation, Justice is more suitable for understanding long relationships maintaining between customers and service providers, as Justice enhances trust and commitment to the organization [62]. Due to the uncertainty existing in the circumstances, Justice is imperative for people as they need these Justice Judgments to manage the uncertainties [91].

Equity, or distributive justice, is the dimension that gets greatest attention from researchers. Au et al. [3] integrated equity theory with needs theory to provide three antecedents of end user IS satisfaction, including equitable relatedness fulfillment, equitable work performance fulfillment, and equitable development fulfillment. Their findings suggested that equitable relatedness fulfillment and equitable work performance lifetime significantly influenced end user IS satisfaction. Quo et al. 58] conducted a study in the mobile service context and found that customers’ perceived value resulted from comparisons of benefits and sacrifices, which represented distributive justice, and this perceived value significantly influenced customer satisfaction and cognitive Judgment during the process of satisfaction formation [74]. Later, other researchers take all the Justice dimension in their studies on IT/IS usage. For example, Chic et al. [18] integrated IS success and fairness theory and examined the motivations behind Web-based learning continuance.

The results indicate that distributive and international fairness have positive impacts on learners’ satisfaction. In another study of Chic et al. [1 9], they investigated the antecedents of customer satisfaction and loyalty intention toward online shopping by integrating TAM and fairness theory. They found that fairness not only affected customer satisfaction directly, but also exerted indirect influence on satisfaction through trust. Further, satisfaction was the strongest predictor of customer’s loyalty intention.

In short, the above literature review suggests that Justice is a useful construct to help understand ND explain customer satisfaction toward IT/IS. However, to our best knowledge, very few studies have been conducted that look into the explanatory power of Justice in mobile service usage. 3. Research model and hypotheses Based on the above literature review, we developed a research model as depicted in Fig. 1 . The main features of the model are that both service quality and Justice are examined with a multidimensional approach and customer satisfaction is split into two types.

The model also follows a cognition-affect-conceive framework [6,42], which has been adopted in many prior research studies in service marketing [33,42]. This framework also reflects the ejaculatory processes of appraisal processes, emotional reactions and coping responses. Baggage [6] argued that there were limitations existing in current attitude theories, and introduced this ejaculatory mechanism to explain the relationships among attitude, intention, subjective norm and behavior.

For the attitude-intention relationship, Baggage [6] proposed that individuals evaluate the outcomes first, and then such appraisals of outcome-desire lead to specific emotional reactions, which in turn arouse coping responses of intentions toward particular actions. This framework is also adapted to service context. For example, a customer orders some food in an exclusive restaurant that is recommended by his friends and he may expect delicious food and quality service before consumption.

If such goals are achieved during the consumption, he would have an outcome-desire fulfillment, and such positive experience (appraisal processes) will lead to positive affect, such as satisfaction, pleasure (emotional reactions). And then, he may form the intentions to maintain or increase the feelings (coping responses), like visiting this restaurant next time or recommend it to other friends. In this study, we also adapted this framework to a service context. In our study, service quality and Justice reflect customers’ cognitive Judgments with the consumption experience [76,86].

Customer satisfaction, no matter if it is transaction-specific or cumulative, reveals customers’ affective responses to the consumption experience [39]. Continuance intention refers to the future continuation of satisfied customers. Therefore, the research model generally hypothesizes that cognitive Judgments (I. E. , service quality and Justice) lead to customers’ affective responses (I. E. , transaction-specific and cumulative distractions), which, in turn, drive behavior (continuance intention). The hypotheses are presented below. 3. 1 .

Relationship between service quality and customer been studied extensively and ample positive evidence that “service quality significantly influences customer satisfaction” has been gathered In studies of mobile services, similar conclusions have been obtained [55,58,59,84,90,94,95]. The first dimension of service quality is interaction quality, which reflects the “quality of a customer’s interaction with the mobile service provider during service delivery’ [65, p. 232]. This dimension captures the consumer- leer interaction of the service delivery process.

This interaction is critical to the development of the relationship between the consumer and the service provider. Because of the Service Quality Interaction Quality Environment Quality Outcome Quality Continuance Intention Justice International Justice Procedural Justice Distributive Justice Cumulative Satisfaction Transaction-specific Satisfaction Cognition Affect Fig. 1. The research model. Conation 649 intangibility of a service [13,97], much research has shown that the interaction quality is the most significant dimension of service quality [9,45,46].

In the traditional environment, Chou and Drop [17] found that the quality of interactive service provided by employees played a more important role in impacting customer satisfaction than facility service quality. Though in the context of mobile services, consumers may not meet with the service provider face to face, the interaction between the two parties occurring through the mobile device is still an important component in mobile service delivery. For example, Wang et al. 96] found that assurance, which reflected the interactive factors in service quality, influenced customer satisfaction in mobile services by China Telecoms significantly. Applying the same framework of service quality to investigate usage of SMS (Short Message Service) in Singapore, Tuning [89] also found a positive relationship between empathy, assurance and customer satisfaction. Thus, we may posit that a higher level of interaction quality will lead to a stronger sense of satisfaction toward the mobile value-added services.

Moreover, this dimension could also contribute to the cumulative satisfaction. For example, in a BIB context, Cares and Parodists [14] found that communication with the advertising supplier exerted the strongest indirect effects on the consumer’s relationship satisfaction. Here relationship satisfaction refers to a cumulative satisfaction as the relationship develops, rather positively affects (HI a) transaction-specific satisfaction and (HI b) cumulative satisfaction. The second dimension of service quality is environment quality.

Previous research on traditional services consider environment quality as the extent to which tangible features of the serviceable play a formative role in overall service quality perceptions [13]. In the mobile context, environment quality is viewed as how the consumer considers the overall environment of the service delivered by the service reviver [65]. Environment quality of mobile services reflects the basic requirement of using such services, such as the equipment quality, the interface design and service delivery contexts[65].

It would be difficult for a consumer to achieve his goal without a supportive environment. For example, a consumer may get frustrated if the interface of a mobile service he used is complicated. Though he finally achieves the goal, negative feelings would still remain and cumulate to exert negative influences on satisfaction. Previous research on mobile service also found empirical evidence or the positive relationship between environment quality and customer satisfaction. By conducting an empirical study on mobile value-added services in Taiwan, Quo et al. 58] found that navigation and visual design, system reliability and connection quality were important dimensions of mobile value-added service quality, which further influenced customer value and satisfaction. In the research of Wang et al. [96], two dimensions of service quality (I. E. , reliability and network quality) which represent the facilities and context aspects of service, have significant impacts on the satisfaction of telecommunication users in China. Thus we hypothesize that: H2O. Environment quality positively affects (Ha) transaction-specific satisfaction and (Hub) cumulative satisfaction.

Outcome quality, as the third dimension of service quality, includes not only punctuality of the service delivery, but also tangible evidence and intangible valence[65]. Valence captures “the attributes that control whether customers believe the service outcome is good or bad, regardless of their evaluation of any other aspect of the experience” [1 3, p. 40]. Outcome quality directly relates to the consumers’ fulfillment of desire and leads to a feeling about the experience. Thus some researchers considered outcome quality as the reflection of actual service, and also a determinant in the assessment of service quality [23].

Oliver [75] regarded customer satisfaction as a more global evaluation while service quality was attribute-based. Outcome quality is closely related to satisfaction as it also reflects a global assessment of the service quality based on customers’ experiences. Deborah and Overbuy [24] studied real estate agent services and found that outcomes were closely related to satisfaction, while process factors were closely related to service quality. Thus, outcome quality is positively related to customer satisfaction.

In addition, as Brady and Crooning [1 3] pointed out, even if an individual had a positive assessment of other service quality dimensions, the negative valence of the outcome would result in an unpleasant experience. We posit that outcome quality is positively related to consumer satisfaction. HA. Outcome quality positively affects (Ha) transaction-specific satisfaction and (Hub) cumulative satisfaction. 3. 2. Relationship between Justice and customer satisfaction International justice occurs when customers feel that they are treated with courtesy, politeness,

Customer Satisfaction

Luckily in almost every field of endeavor there are service suppliers who know how to please their customers while also running a productive, profitable operation, satisfied by pleasant and competent employees. Around the world, the service sector of the economy is going through a period of almost revolutionary change in which established ways of doing business continued to be shunted aside. Innovators continually launch new days to satisfy out existing needs and meet needs that we did not even know we had.

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After sales service was regarded in most manufacturing, consumer durable home appliance) and even service business (Airways, Hotel logistics) as a necessary event in the overall structure of the organization. This also applies in some degree to the channels in case of industrial products. It will be usually the manufacturer who provides services whilst for many customer and other types of goods. It is the responsibility of the retailer, dealer or agent,(mostly case of automobiles, customer durables and even educational services). While it was realized that it was important to provide a reasonable level of after sales services.

The role and function of service was generally viewed purely as a cost center. Competition. As consumers grew more sophisticated they became less willing to accept poor quality goods and service consumer protection legislation forced firms organization started to realize that by offering guarantees and service warranties they could enhance their competitor position. This applies not only to procedures of actual goods but to service providers as well, “After sales service has been part of the augmented product for so long now that it is larger a special feature-consumers demand it”.