Reasons why dissatisfied customers exhibit behavioural loyalty
The development of supplier loyalty and its potential application to the business-to-business settings has not been widely explored. Day (1969) cautions that loyalty viewed in terms of purchase decisions may not distinguish between loyalty and spurious loyalty. This study follows the composite loyalty approach providing both behavioral aspects (purchase intentions) and attitudinal loyalty in order to fully explain the concept of supplier loyalty. This framework has not been previously applied in the B2B literature.The objective of this research is to identify reasons why B2B customers do not show consistency between attitudinal and behavioral loyalty and why dissatisfied customers do not switch suppliers. A survey was conducted during 2006 with a sample of executives from 240 SME companies in a large Asian city. A range of measures was obtained including attitudinal loyalty, behavioral loyalty, satisfaction and open ended responses on nature of current problems. Following Dick and Basu (1994), customers are classified into loyalty groups. Customers having high and low attitudinal loyalty are compared on satisfaction, switching attitudes and problems within the relationship. Constraints to switching by the dissatisfied customers are discussed. A profile of the "Spurious Loyal" customer is provided. This study seeks to better understand the nature of dissatisfaction and loyalty within these long term focal relationships.
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