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Customer satisfaction should not be the only goal

Publication Date
  • 150599 Marketing Not Elsewhere Classified
  • Satisfaction
  • Loyalty
  • Divergent Validity
  • Psychology


The authors address the nature of the relationship between evaluative satisfaction and loyalty. Recent research suggests that this relationship is not linear and uni-directional but curvilinear, mediated by several interacting situational and psychological variables (Oliver, 1999). If, however, both attitudinal loyalty and satisfaction are conceptualized as latent, internal constructs, then it may be that they are formed simultaneously, not sequentially. While there is some evidence for divergence between emotion-laden satisfaction and loyalty, there is little evidence in the literature on the divergence of evaluative satisfaction from loyalty. The authors address and resolve questions raised by prior research by examining empirically, within a business-to-business context, that evaluative-satisfaction and loyalty are associated but different constructs. The results of structural equation modeling indicate that satisfaction and loyalty have divergent validity. Thus, the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty is not necessary, but dependent upon situational and psychological factors.

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