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

Author(s): Aistė Dovalienė | Agnė Gadeikienė | Žaneta Piligrimienė

Journal: Engineering Economics
ISSN 1392-2785

Volume: 5;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: satisfaction | long-term relationships | customer behavioral intentions | service quality | odontology services

Theoretical studies as well as practical evidencevalidate an opinion that solutions of customer retentionand long-term relationships formation and maintenancehave a positive effect on results of enterprise activitiesand play a crucial role in a competitive advantage development.The identification of antecedents of long-term relationshipsand evaluation of their predictors are becoming prioritytasks of a service enterprise. Despite the abundanceof scientific research, the identification of variables determiningthe development of relationships with customersstill is a relevant object of scientific discussions.This article emphasizes that customer satisfaction isone of the antecedents of long-term relationships betweencustomer and service provider. Therefore, in considerationof services nature and service provision peculiarities,cognition of factors that influence customer satisfactionbecomes relevant for better understanding of customerneeds and for the service delivery process improvement.Revealing the diversity of scientific approaches representingsatisfaction drivers, it can be underlined thatthis issue is very important both for theoretical and empiricalstudies. Referring to a numerous researches onservice quality and satisfaction we can maintain, thatservice quality is the main driver of customer satisfactionwith the service provider. Furthermore, it is consideredthat service quality consists of such quality dimensionsthat could be named outcome quality, technical qualityand functional quality.Considering all above mentioned and that servicequality is the main predictor of customer satisfaction, thisarticle aims to determine the relations between satisfactionand intentions to pursue long-term relationships witha service provider.Odontology services are selected for the empiricalresearch. First of all service quality attributes aregrouped using a factor analysis into six dimensions (factors).Using these results in this study one method ofstated importance and three methods of derived importancewere examined for identification of importance ofattributes impacting customer satisfaction. Also results ofcorrelation and regression analyses are presented showingrelations between satisfaction, its predictors and customerbehavioral intentions.

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