The role of corporate image and switching barriers in the service evaluation process: Evidence from the mobile telecommunications industry

Apostolos Giovanis, Pinelopi Athanasopoulou, Evangelos Tsoukatos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to better predict customers’ behavioral intentions (BI) by developing and empirically testing an integrative conceptual framework that allows us to investigate the mediating role of corporate image (CI) and switching barriers (SB) in the interrelationships among service evaluation constructs (i.e. service quality (SQ), perceived value and customer satisfaction (CS)) and customers’ future intentions. These relationships are explored in the mobile telecommunications service context. Design/methodology/approach – Around 1,000 customers of mobile telecommunication services were questioned using a structured questionnaire. To test the proposed hypotheses, a model was constructed and estimated using the method of partial least squares path methodology. Findings – Findings indicate that the provision of high-SQ and the creation of superior value, through the development of reasonable costs, can result in high-CS; enhanced CI, and either directly or indirectly through SB, in customers’ favorable BI. However, given the price-competitive structure of the industry under investigation, customers’ loyalty decisions are mainly based on service-related criteria. The value of and satisfaction from delivered services are far more important decision criteria, than image and SB. Research limitations/implications – This study was limited to one service setting and the proposed model should be cross-validated in other service contexts before the relationships among its components are fully clarified. Also the use of cross-section design reduces inference ability regarding temporal changes in research constructs. Practical implications – Results suggest that marketers, in their effort to develop more customer-oriented marketing plans in mature markets, should consider both the pool-in factors, reflecting the value of the provided services; CS, and CI, and the interactions among them as well as with the push-back factors, reflecting SB, as they all impact on customers’ BI. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the body of existing knowledge by considering both CI and SB, along with other service evaluation constructs, as antecedents of consumers’ BI. The interrelationships among SB, service evaluation and CI has not been adequately addressed in the existing literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-158
Number of pages27
JournalEuroMed Journal of Business
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016

Keywords

  • Behavioural intentions
  • Corporate image
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Perceived value
  • Service evaluation
  • Service quality

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