Satisfaction Processes: Antecedents and Consequences of Differential Judgment Input

EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Literature suggests that there are multiple processes through which consumers may reach a satisfaction judgment (e.g., Fournier and Mick 1999), each process differing on the input or basis used by the consumers to arrive at their judgments. For example, the leading satisfaction theory, the expectancy-confirmation paradigm, supposes that consumers use a set of performance expectations as a standard to evaluate the actual product performance, and the difference between expectations and actual performance determines their satisfaction judgment (Oliver 1996). However, a review of the vast and growing satisfaction literature identifies at least seven other distinctly different inputs that consumers often use in making satisfaction judgments. They are (1) aspirations or desires (i.e., product fulfills some wish; e.g., Spreng, MacKenzie, and Olshavsky 1996; Wirtz and Mattila 2001), (2) category norms (i.e., product performs as expected of the category; e.g., Cadotte, Woodruff, and Jenkins 1987; Woodruff, Cadotte, and Jenkins 1983), (3) fairness or equity (i.e., product is a good deal; e.g., Oliver and Swan 1989), (4) alternative outcomes (i.e., product compares well with other alternatives; e.g., Droge, Halstead, and MacKoy 1997; Ping 1994), (5) post-purchase emergent criteria (i.e., product provides an unexpected benefit; e.g., Fournier and Mick 1999), (6) quality (i.e., product provides good quality; e.g., Churchill and Suprenant 1982; Tse and Wison 1988; Oliver 1980), and (7) emotions (i.e., product provides good feelings; e.g., Oliver 1989; Westbrook 1987).



Citation:

Yong-Soon Kang and Subimal Chatterjee (2005) ,"Satisfaction Processes: Antecedents and Consequences of Differential Judgment Input", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Yong-Uon Ha and Youjae Yi, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 312-313.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2005      Pages 312-313

SATISFACTION PROCESSES: ANTECEDENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF DIFFERENTIAL JUDGMENT INPUT

Yong-Soon Kang, Binghamton UniversityBSUNY, U.S.A.

Subimal Chatterjee, Binghamton UniversityBSUNY, U.S.A.

EXTENDED ABSTRACT -

Literature suggests that there are multiple processes through which consumers may reach a satisfaction judgment (e.g., Fournier and Mick 1999), each process differing on the input or basis used by the consumers to arrive at their judgments. For example, the leading satisfaction theory, the expectancy-confirmation paradigm, supposes that consumers use a set of performance expectations as a standard to evaluate the actual product performance, and the difference between expectations and actual performance determines their satisfaction judgment (Oliver 1996). However, a review of the vast and growing satisfaction literature identifies at least seven other distinctly different inputs that consumers often use in making satisfaction judgments. They are (1) aspirations or desires (i.e., product fulfills some wish; e.g., Spreng, MacKenzie, and Olshavsky 1996; Wirtz and Mattila 2001), (2) category norms (i.e., product performs as expected of the category; e.g., Cadotte, Woodruff, and Jenkins 1987; Woodruff, Cadotte, and Jenkins 1983), (3) fairness or equity (i.e., product is a good deal; e.g., Oliver and Swan 1989), (4) alternative outcomes (i.e., product compares well with other alternatives; e.g., Droge, Halstead, and MacKoy 1997; Ping 1994), (5) post-purchase emergent criteria (i.e., product provides an unexpected benefit; e.g., Fournier and Mick 1999), (6) quality (i.e., product provides good quality; e.g., Churchill and Suprenant 1982; Tse and Wison 1988; Oliver 1980), and (7) emotions (i.e., product provides good feelings; e.g., Oliver 1989; Westbrook 1987).

Our research looks at three issues. First, we examine the potential structure or relationship among the eight satisfaction inputs. For example, are expectations substantially different from category norms or are both manifestations of an underlying latent dimension? Similarly, to what extent are consumers using emotions as a judgment input likely to use aspirations-based inputs as well? Second, what are the factors (individual, situational or product) that determine the use of different judgment inputs? For example, are knowledgeable and experienced consumers more likely to follow the expectation-confirmation process (thereby using expectations as input) than others? Finally, and third, what are the differential consequences of the different judgment inputs? For example, does satisfaction based on emotional inputs lead to stronger repurchase intentions, compared to the same-level of satisfaction based on, say, fairness considerations? We believe that answers to these questions can be interesting and useful to both researchers and practitioners.

We conducted a critical-incidence survey. Respondents recalled a recent purchase and consumption experience; a random half recalled a satisfactory experience and the other half dissatisfactory. We identified the respondent’s key judgment input using an open-ended question (i.e., please tell us why you were satisfied or dissatisfied with your last purchase), as well as by using rating tasks. The ratings tasks explicitly asked respondents to agree or disagree (on seven-point scales) to statements that explicitly asked whether the respondent had used a specific input to form their satisfaction evaluation. For example, to test for the emotion criteria, respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the following statement: I am dissatisfied mainly because the emotions that I felt while using the product/service were not good. In addition, the instrument included questions about the purchase itself, levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, respondent’s product experience, learning, purchase behavior, product perceptions, self-confidence, and demographics.

We completed 425 interviews. Our respondents came from the northeastern region of the USA, but they were diverse and balanced in age and gender due to quota sampling. The products and services in their reports included electronics (28%), household products (17%), apparel (12%), automotive (10%), entertainment (6%), and telecommunications (5%).

The results provide us with three critical insights. First, a multidimensional scale mapping of the judgment input data (i.e., respondent’s ratings of the judgment inputs) indicates that the eight inputs can be grouped into four classes: (1) expectations, category norms, and quality perception; (2) emotions and aspirations; (3) alternative outcome and sense of fairness/equity; and (4) post-purchase emergent criteria. For instance, when respondents reported that they used post-purchase emergent criteria as the key input, they were very unlikely to use, simultaneously, alternative outcome as the judgment input. On the other hand, those who reportedly used their expectations as their judgment inputs also used category norms as well. An additional exploratory factor analysis replicated the same results.

Second, our results revealed different antecedents for the different satisfaction inputs. For example, the use of emergent criteria in satisfaction or dissatisfaction judgment was negatively correlated with the pre-purchase product-class experience. The likelihood of using emergent criteria was higher among those who answered the dissatisfaction version of the survey as opposed to the satisfaction survey. Similarly, the use of equity/fairness input and alternative outcome input was more likely when the respondent believed that the focal product’s prices vary greatly. Finally, for perceived search goods, respondents used more concrete or objective inuts such as expectations and quality, whereas for perceived experiential goods the use of alternative outcome was the only judgment input/basis that was avoided by the consumer.

Third, our results show different consequences of using the different satisfaction inputs. For example, the use of emergent criteria in satisfaction or dissatisfaction judgment was positively correlated with the amount of post-purchase product learning. Those who reportedly used quality or emotion as their basis of judgment tended to give more extreme satisfaction or dissatisfaction ratings than others. As expected, satisfaction had a robust correlation with repurchase intention (r=.64).

Our results have some practical implications. For example, our study, by examining the antecedents of the different satisfaction inputs, provides managers an easy link between market conditions and the most effective marketing communications strategy. Finally, by examining the consequences of using the different satisfaction inputs, our study gives managers insights into communication strategies that best stimulates post-purchase learning and customer loyalty.

REFERENCES

Cadotte, Ernest R., Robert B. Woodruff and Roger L. Jenkins (1987), "Expectations and Norms in Models of Consumer Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing Research, 24(3), 305-314.

Churchill, Gilbert A., Jr., and Carol Surprenant (1982), "An Investigation into the Determinants of Customer Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing Research, 19 (4), 491-504.

Droge, Cornelia, Diane Halstead and Robert D. Mackoy (1997), "The role of competitive alternatives in the postchoice satisfaction formation process," Academy of Marketing Science Journal, 25 (Winter), 18-30.

Fournier, Susan and David Glen Mick (1999), "Rediscovering Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing, 63 (March), 5-23.

Mittal, Vikas and Wagner A. Kamakura (2001), "Satisfaction, repurchase intent, and repurchase behavior: Investigating the moderating effect of customer characteristics," Journal of Marketing Research, 38 (Feb), 131-142.

Mittal, Vikas, Pankaj Kumar and Michael Tsiros (1999), "Attribute-level performance satisfaction, and behavioral intentions over time: A consumption-system approach," Journal of Marketing, 63 (Apr), 88-101.

Oliver, Richard L. (1980), "A Cognitive Model of the Antecedents and Consequences of Satisfaction Decisions," Journal of Marketing Research, 17 (4), 460-469.

Oliver, Richard L. and John E. Swan (1989), "Consumer Perceptions of Interpersonal Equity and Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing, 53 (April), 21-35.

Oliver, Richard (1989), "Processing of the Satisfaction Response in Consumption: A Suggested Framework and Research Propositions," Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, 2.

Ping, Robert A Jr. (1994), "Does satisfaction moderate the association between alternative attractiveness and exit intention in a marketing channel?" Academy of Marketing Science Journal, 22 (Fall), 364-371.

Spreng, Richard A and Scott B. MacKenzie and Richard W. Olshavsky (1996), "A Reexamination of the Determinants of Consumer Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing, 60 (Jul.), 15-32.

Tse, David K. and Peter C. Wilton (1988), "Models of Consumer Satisfaction Formation: An Extension," Journal of Marketing Research, 25 (May), 204-212.

Woodruff, Robert B., Ernest R. Cadotte and Roger L. Jenkins (1983), "Modeling Consumer Satisfaction Processes Using Experience-Based Norms," Journal of Marketing Research, 20 (Aug.), 296-304.

Wirtz, Jochen and Anna Mattila (2001), "Exploring the Role of Alternative Perceived Performance Measures and Needs Congruency in the Consumer Satisfaction Process," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 1 (3), 181-192.

----------------------------------------

Authors

Yong-Soon Kang, Binghamton UniversityBSUNY, U.S.A.
Subimal Chatterjee, Binghamton UniversityBSUNY, U.S.A.



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2005



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