On Overall Customer Satisfaction, Microsoft Beats Google

VIKAS MITTAL, SHRIHARI SRIDHAR, AND TRANG DUONG

Microsoft has key competition like Google searching for answers on at least one critical metric—overall customer satisfaction. Microsoft’s most prominent competitors, particularly in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, are Google and Oracle. In a 2016 Interbrand study, Google ranked as the world’s second best brand, beating Microsoft at number 4. Oracle placed 17th.

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Attribute-level performance, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions over time: a consumption-system approach

VIKAS MITTAL, PANKAJ KUMAR AND MICHAEL TSIROS

Instead of offering products or services alone, increasingly, firms and their partners are offering consumption systems. Consumption systems are offerings characterized by a significant product and service subsystem, as well as a pattern of consumption in which consumption occurs in multiple episodes over time. The authors develop a theoretical model for conceptualizing satisfaction with consumption systems and empirically test it using longitudinal data from 5206 automobile owners. Results show that an intertemporal examination of attribute-level performance, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions can improve an understanding of their relationships because these relationships change as the consumption of the product unfolds. For example, on the basis of their salience, attribute weights in determining satisfaction shift over time. Furthermore, the crossover effect of product and service satisfaction in determining intentions toward the manufacturer and the service provider is asymmetric, and this asymmetry reverses over time. Service satisfaction initially has a much larger impact in determining intentions toward the manufacturer, but later, product satisfaction is more influential in generating intentions toward the service provider and manufacturer. The results show that there is no direct link between satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Rather, satisfaction affects behavioral intentions in the future through a dual-mediation route.

Vikas Mittal, Pankaj Kumar, and Michael Tsiros (1999). “Attribute-level performance, satisfaction, and behavioral intentions over time: a consumption-system approach.” The Journal of Marketing, April (1), 88-101.

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The relationships of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability: an empirical study

ROGER HALLOWELL

Presents the findings of a study performed on data from a large bank’s retail?banking operations. Illustrates the relationship of customer satisfaction to customer loyalty, and customer loyalty to profitability, using multiple measures of satisfaction, loyalty, and profitability. An estimate of the effects of increased customer satisfaction on profitability (assuming hypothesized causality) suggests that attainable increases in satisfaction could dramatically improve profitability.

Hallowell, R. (1996). The relationships of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability: an empirical study. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 7(4), pp.27-42.

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What Would Happen if Houston-based Companies got Yahoo-ed?

BY VIKAS MITTAL AND SHRIHARI SRIDHAR

President Barack Obama recently stated the challenge: “We are a digitalized culture, and there is hacking going on every single day. There’s not a company … where somebody is not going to be phishing for something or trying to penetrate, or put in a virus or malware.” Over the last decade, high-profile information-security breaches, such as those at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, and Neiman Marcus have caused widespread customer dissatisfaction.

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A National customer satisfaction barometer: the Swedish experience

C. FORNELL

This study explored how Product-related attributes of customers financial performance. Despite ongoing debate regarding the specific dimensions of the customer relationship orientation construct, the link with organizational performance is almost universally recognized. The findings suggest that financial service managers could consider treating consumers as partners in their provision of existing services or their quest to develop successful new services. Reciprocal behavior will foster a positive atmosphere, remove barriers arising from risk, and enable relationships to progress, ultimately improving financial performance. Marketing research has shown that firms are more successful when they focus on their customers’ needs. Although some empirical studies have investigated the relationship between Product-related attributes of customers and financial performance, they have failed to show the mechanism by which Product-related attributes of customers promotes financial performance.

Fornell, C. (1992), ‘‘National customer satisfaction barometer: the Swedish experience’’, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 56 (January), pp. 6-21.

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Four Fatal Flaws of Strategic Planning

EDWARD A. BARROWS JR.

Strategy execution is drawing a lot of attention these days, but that in no way means companies have abandoned their time-tested strategic planning processes. In fact, as far as management tools are concerned, strategic planning is as popular as ever, with 88% of large organizations engaging in some form of formal strategic planning, according to Bain & Company’s global 2007 Management Tools and Trends survey. This number may still be on the rise as economic conditions force companies to search for new ways to jump-start business growth.

Barrows, Edward. “Four fatal flaws of strategic planning.” Harvard Management Update 14, no. 4 (2009): 1-5.

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Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer

RICHARD L. OLIVER

Designed for advanced MBA and doctoral courses in Consumer Behavior and Customer Satisfaction, this is the definitive text on the meaning, causes, and consequences of customer satisfaction. It covers every psychological aspect of satisfaction formation, and the contents are applicable to all consumables – product or service. Author Richard L. Oliver traces the history of consumer satisfaction from its earliest roots, and brings together the very latest thinking on the consequences of satisfying (or not satisfying) a firm's customers. He describes today's best practices in business, and broadens the determinants of satisfaction to include needs, quality, fairness, and regret ('what might have been'). The book culminates in Oliver's detailed model of consumption processing and his satisfaction measurement scale. The text concludes with a section on the long-term effects of satisfaction, and why an understanding of satisfaction psychology is vitally important to top management.

Satisfaction: A Behavioral Perspective on the Consumer

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Customer Satisfaction and Word of Mouth

EUGENE W. ANDERSON

Do dissatisfied customers engage in more or less word of mouth than satisfied customers? There is theoretical and empirical support for both possibilities. To better understand this issue, the authors developed a utility-based model of the relationship between customer satisfaction and word of mouth. The hypothesized functional form-an asymmetric U-shape-cannot be rejected based on data from the United States and Sweden. In addition, the estimation results based on the two samples are similar, suggesting that the proposed relationship is generalizable. The findings also indicate that although dissatisfied customers do engage in greater word of mouth than satisfied ones, common suppositions concerning the size of this difference appear to be exaggerated.

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Customer Satisfaction and Price Tolerance

EUGENE W. ANDERSON

This study investigates the association between customer satisfaction and willingness-to-pay or price tolerance. The goal is not only to determine whether the association between customer satisfaction and price tolerance is positive or negative but also to gauge the degree of association. The Swedish Customer Satisfaction Barometer provides the data. The empirical analysis indicates a negative association between the level of customer satisfaction provided by the firm and the degree of price tolerance exhibited by its customers. However, a positive association is found between year-to-year changes in the levels of customer satisfaction and price tolerance.

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Relating Online, Regional, and National Advertising to Firm Value

SHRIHARI SRIDHAR, FRANK GERMANN, CHARLES KANG AND RAJDEEP GREWAL

Firms spend billions of dollars on advertising every year but remain uncertain about allocation across various advertising vehicles. Allocation decisions are even more complex as online advertising has proliferated and consumers’ media usage patterns have become more fragmented. To determine advertising effectiveness, the authors group firms’ advertising vehicle choices into three theoretically grounded and empirically verified smaller subsets: national, regional, and online advertising. Subsequently, they assess how the three advertising vehicles independently and jointly affect firm performance. Using 12 years of data covering 662 manufacturing firms, the authors find that while national, regional, and online advertising each have a positive and significant main effect on firm performance, each advertising vehicle weakens the effectiveness of the respective other two advertising vehicles (e.g., a 1% increase in online advertising increases firm performance by .32% but also decreases national [.15%] and regional [.03%] advertising effectiveness). A battery of robustness checks triangulates this result. Although all three media vehicles contribute to net increases in performance, the authors discuss the need to strategically integrate them to maximize combined effectiveness.

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