What Drives Customer Loyalty? Nonlinear Effects of Customer Delight and Satisfaction on Loyalty and the Moderating Role of Service Experience

  • Dennis C. Ahrholdt
  • Siegfried P. Gudergan
  • Christian M. Ringle
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


We substantiate—theoretically and empirically—the important parallel roles of delight and satisfaction in influencing loyalty in service settings. Our results of a PLS-SEM study support a negative quadratic (i.e., concave) relationship of satisfaction with loyalty and a negative cubic relationship of delight. When allocating (incremental) resources to create customer loyalty, managers should recognize that delight reaches its full impact only after an initial threshold. Similar to satisfaction, this effect reaches a saturation point after an upper threshold at very high levels of delight. Moreover, our results suggest that both delight and satisfaction effects weaken when experience increases.


Customer Satisfaction Customer Loyalty Service Setting Service Experience Customer Involvement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis C. Ahrholdt
    • 1
  • Siegfried P. Gudergan
    • 2
  • Christian M. Ringle
    • 3
  1. 1.HSBA Hamburg School of Business AdministrationKentUSA
  2. 2.University of NewcastleKentUSA
  3. 3.Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)KentUSA

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