An Analysis Upon the Antecedents of Customer Loyalty: a Conceptual Structure |
Customer loyalty is one of the important strategies for retailers todevelop competitive edge. Despite the importance of customer loyalty, there isstill a lack of comprehensive work to explain how customers develop loyalty toa particular store and how that loyalty can be maintained. The purpose of thisstudy is to determine the antecedents of customer loyalty from both attitudinalperspective (cognitive loyalty, affective loyalty, & conative loyalty) andbehavioral perspective (action loyalty). The findings disclose that theantecedents of cognitive loyalty are the components of store image, namely, servicequality, product quality, store atmosphere, and promotion activity. Theantecedents for affective loyalty are customer satisfaction, loyalty program,and retailer brand equity, while the antecedent for conative loyalty iscustomer commitment. Likewise, the antecedents for action loyalty are conativeloyalty, customer commitment, and customer satisfaction. Thesingle most important thing is to remember about any enterprise is that thereare no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfiedcustomer. Several years ago, Peter Drucker suggested that the purpose of a firmwas to create customers. As the author put it: “Business is a process, whichconverts input, a distinct resource, into output of economic value in themarket place. The purpose of business is to create a customer’. In today’scompetitive market, the purpose of a firm should be read as “creating a loyalcustomer”, which involves both capturing and retaining him. Importance ofcreating a loyal customer arises from that it costs more to create a newcustomer than to retain an existing one. For example, the cost of creating anew customer is five times more than that of retaining an existing customer..Today’s world is distinct with its higher competitive environment. “Survival ofthe fittest” is the mantra of this century. Loyalty has, over the past decade,become a crucial construct in marketing and particularly in customerrelationship management.