The influence of Customer-Orientation on Customer Behavior: Evidence from Hotels in North Cyprus

Romina Cheraghalizadeh

Abstract


Purpose. The aim of this research is investigating how customer-orientation influences on customer satisfaction, positive word of mouth and emotional attachment. Also this study evaluates the effect of customer satisfaction as a mediator on the relationship between customer-orientation and customer responses (positive word of mouth and emotional attachment).

Methodology. Data were gathered by using questionnaires from 153 customers of four and five-star hotels in North Cyprus. The questionnaire prepared in English. It included 13 measurement items of four constructs which are customer-orientation, customer satisfaction, emotional attachment and positive word of mouth. Scale items were based on a 5-point Likert scale. Convenience sampling method applied for collecting data. Validity of questionnaire tested by conducting exploratory factor analysis and cronbach’ alpha checked the reliability of study instrument. Relationship between study variables tested by using correlation and regression analysis. Method of Baron and Kenny (1986) applied for mediation analysis and Harman’s single-factor test conducted to assess common method bias.

Results. The results showed the positive significant relationships between all study variables.  Customer orientation has a positive effect on customer satisfaction and in turn, customer satisfaction positively related to positive word of mouth and emotional attachment. Moreover, results indicated that customer satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between customer-orientation and positive word of mouth. Also the relationship between customer-orientation and emotional attachment fully mediates by customer satisfaction.

The theoretical contribution. Most empirical studies considered on importance of technology and product characteristics to keep customers. Not only service characteristics lead to the existence of customers, but also considering on customer needs on real time and paying attention to them are also critical for hotel industry. Despite the importance of considering on customer needs in service providing organizations, there are still limited empirical studies that considered on customer-orientation as an antecedent of customer outcomes. This article investigated how customer-orientation effects on positive word of mouth and emotional attachment by considering on the effect of customer satisfaction as a mediator.

Practical implications. In achieving competitive advantage in the market, employees must understand and offer such services that meet customer needs and expectations.  Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the potential of new recruitments and know whether applicants fit into the strategies and culture of the organization. Not only frontline employees but everyone in the organization should get involved to meet customer needs in minimum time. Moreover existence of creative team leadership helps to manage different departments in organization to provide services better.  Implementing customer-orientation strategies require well training employees especially for those staff who interact with customers directly.

Keywords: Customer orientation, Customer satisfaction, Behavioral responses, positive word of mouth, emotional attachment.

Paper type: Research paper.


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