Using a cross-sectional quantitative study utilising actual consumer data from the Australian auto spares, accessories and tools market, this dissertation explores the moderating role of relationship type in explaining the linkage between customer satisfaction and the consumer behaviours of retention (operationalised as intention to continue), share of wallet, word-of-mouth and consumer complaint behaviour. This research expands upon our current knowledge in the area through broadening the definition of relationship type to include not only affective and calculative commitment, but also inertia which is acknowledged as having a major impact in certain industry sectors. The inclusion of four consumer outcome behaviours in the one study (retention, share of wallet, word-of-mouth and consumer complaint behaviour) also allows a greater understanding of the impact of a consumer’s behaviour as opposed to exploring single consumer outcomes in isolation. Findings in the dissertation indicate that relationship type does moderate the linkage between customer satisfaction and consumer behaviour, but only for a specific subset of behaviours. For example all three relationship types were shown not to moderate the relationship between customer satisfaction and retention, yet they were shown to moderate the relationship between customer satisfaction and share of wallet. The research also uncovered some counterintuitive findings including that increases in affective commitment result in higher negative word-of-mouth when satisfaction drops. Looked at as a whole, the results of this dissertation indicate to business managers that utilising relationship type as a way of improving customer-based outcomes needs to be done very carefully. This is due to the weaker than expected impact that relationship type has on the linkage between customer satisfaction and consumer behaviour, as well as the fact that where individual relationship types do have a moderating impact on consumer behaviours, it can have both positive and negative outcomes for the business.
|Date of Award||16 Jun 2018|
|Supervisor||Mark Spence (Supervisor) & Chris Dubelaar (Supervisor)|