Geographic Patterns in Customer Service and Satisfaction: An Empirical Investigation
Journal of Marketing, 68 (July 2004), 48-62
16 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2004
When firms’ customers are located in geographically dispersed areas, it can be difficult to manage service quality because its relative importance is likely to vary spatially. This article shows how addressing such spatial aspects of satisfaction data can improve management’s ability to implement programs aimed at enhancing service quality. Specifically, managers can identify areas of high service responsiveness, that is, areas in which overall satisfaction is low but customers are highly responsive to improvements in service quality. The authors estimate the spatial patterns using geographically weighted regression, a technique that accounts for spatial dependence in the variables. They apply this methodology to a large national sample of automobile customers served by a network of dealerships across the United States. The authors also investigate the extent to which factors related to the physical and psychological landscape explain the importance that people in different regions place on dealership service and vehicle quality.
Keywords: customer satisfaction, spatial patterns, weighted regression
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