Enhancing loyalty: When improving consumer satisfaction and delight matters
Prior research has validated the importance of consumer delight and satisfaction for explaining consumer loyalty. This study extends our existing knowledge of how delight and satisfaction affect (in a nonlinear way) consumer loyalty. It explains a negative quadratic relationship between satisfaction and loyalty intentions, as well as a negative cubic relationship between delight and loyalty intentions. Contrary to satisfaction, delight unfolds its full impact at lower levels, but only after a threshold level is exceeded. Like satisfaction, the delight effect becomes saturated at very high levels. Furthermore, both delight and satisfaction effects weaken with increased prior consumption experiences. Thus, when they invest in delight and satisfaction, managers should consider their individual marginal impacts on loyalty and distinguish between consumers with reference to their prior consumption experiences. © 2018 Elsevier Inc.