Satisfaction, image and loyalty: new versus experienced customers

Brunner, Thomas; Stöcklin, Markus; Opwis, Klaus (2008). Satisfaction, image and loyalty: new versus experienced customers European Journal of Marketing, 42(9/10), pp. 1095-1105. Emerald Publishing Limited 10.1108/03090560810891163

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Purpose– Customer satisfaction and image are important factors for service companies because oftheir impact on loyalty. Although much research has looked at the relationship of both of these factorsindividually, little is known about them when they are considered together. Furthermore, experiencewith the service or product has largely been neglected in this line of research. This paper aims toundertake a first step to fill this gap.Design/methodology/approach– This research, with data from one of Europe’s most modernnight-train companies, employs structural equation modelling to test the proposed hypotheses.Findings– Differentiating new customers from experienced ones, the results show that for newcustomers satisfaction is crucial whereas image plays a much smaller role in terms of loyalty. Forexperienced customers, however, the importance of satisfaction decreases whereas the impact of imageincreases.Research limitations/implications– Satisfaction and image were both measured by a single item.Although they show high face validity, the findings should be replicated using a multiple-itemapproach. Future research should also consider distinguishing between transaction-specificsatisfaction and cumulative satisfaction.Practical implications– This paper concludes that customers’ experience plays a decisive role inpredicting loyalty. Managers should therefore be aware of the level of their customers’ experience andmay even consider developing different retention programmes tailored to the level of customers’experience.Originality/value– This research proposes an integrative model of satisfaction, image, and loyalty,and analyses the impact of experience within this model. It is pioneering work that empiricallyinvestigates the relationships between these constructs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production


Brunner, Thomas0000-0002-6770-6548;
Stöcklin, Markus and
Opwis, Klaus


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)




Emerald Publishing Limited




Thomas Brunner

Date Deposited:

05 May 2020 13:04

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2021 02:17

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Customer satisfaction, Customer loyalty, Service industries, Repeat buying, Repurchase agreements




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