Original Research

The relationship between selected variables and customer loyalty within an optometric practice environment

T. Van Vuuren, M. Roberts-Lombard, E. Van Tonder
Acta Commercii | Vol 12, No 1 | a137 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v12i1.137 | © 2012 T. Van Vuuren, M. Roberts-Lombard, E. Van Tonder | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2012 | Published: 06 December 2012

About the author(s)

T. Van Vuuren, Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
M. Roberts-Lombard, Department of Marketing Management: University of Johannesburg, South Africa
E. Van Tonder, Department of Marketing Management: University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the research that informed this article was to examine the relationship between customer satisfaction, trust, supplier image, commitment and customer loyalty within an optometric practice environment.

Problem investigated: Optometric businesses need to adopt their strategies to enhance loyalty, as customer satisfaction is not enough to ensure loyalty and customer retention. An understanding of the variables influencing loyalty could help businesses within the optometric service environment to retain their customers and become more profitable.

Methodology: The methodological approach followed was exploratory and quantitative in nature. The sample consisted of 357 customers who visited the practice twice or more over the previous six years. A structured questionnaire, with a five-point Likert scale, was fielded to gather the data. The descriptive and multiple regression analysis approach was used to analyse the results. Collinearity statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficient were also calculated to determine which independent variable has the largest influence on customer loyalty.

Findings and implications: The main finding is that customer satisfaction had the highest correlation with customer loyalty. The other independent variables, however, also appear to significantly influence customer loyalty within an optometric practice environment. The implication is that optometric practices need to focus on customer satisfaction, trust, supplier image and commitment when addressing the improvement of customer loyalty.

Originality and value of the research: The article contributes to the improvement of customer loyalty within a service business environment that could assist in facilitating larger market share, higher customer retention and greater profitability for the business over the long term.


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