Relationships among Customer Satisfaction, Delight, and Loyalty in the Hospitality Industry [Summary]
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In the hospitality industry, understanding the emotional factors of customers, such as delight, becomes more critical in relation to their consumption experiences and repeat purchase because customers have many opportunities to interact during the consumer experience with a product or service provider. Customer loyalty research has been considered in many studies that examine the link between customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the hospitality sector, the level of attitude loyalty to customers is strongly assessed, and a number of loyalty studies have identified loyalty attitudinal dimensions as a useful means for segmenting customers with different strategies. This study examines the impact of customer satisfaction and delight on loyalty by empirically testing a model. The study showed that customer satisfaction is more strongly related to loyalty than delight. A possible explanation of the finding is that customer satisfaction influences loyalty based on the cumulative overall evaluation, which is a set of discrete service encounters or transactions with the service provider over a period of time, whereas delight affects loyalty as episodic and ephemeral emotional experiences Based on this study, the managers need to consider the feelings of the consumers and build a loyalty plan, such as lifestyle benefits, for successful enhancement of loyalty.