The effects of soft and hard service attributes on loyalty

The mediating role of trust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose - Drawing on social exchange and similarity attraction theories, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of soft attributes (e.g. social and relational attributes) on hard attributes (e.g. core attribute performance) in a high contact service context, namely in the hair care service environment. Design/methodology/approach - This research extends the key mediating variable model (KMVM) of Morgan and Hunt by hypothesising that, while trust fully mediates the effect of soft attributes on loyalty, trust only partially mediates the effect of hard attributes on loyalty. Data were collected using the critical incident technique from 176 students. Findings - Supports the fully mediating role of trust for soft attributes and a partially mediating role of trust for hard attributes. Research limitations/implications - Future research should test the model in contexts that involve less employee-customer contact and interaction. Originality/value - The study underscores the practical importance of investing in non-core (soft attributes such as social and relational attributes that focus on social bonding) attributes in addition to core attributes (hard attributes such as performance excellence of key service delivered) in service marketing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Service attributes
Loyalty
Interaction
Performance excellence
Services marketing
Social exchange
Similarity-attraction
Customer-contact employees
Design methodology
Investing
Critical incident technique

Keywords

  • Customer loyalty
  • Social interaction
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

Cite this

The effects of soft and hard service attributes on loyalty : The mediating role of trust. / Auh, Sei.

In: Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2005, p. 81-92.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{fb3bb0d5b76d4056b298570fe1895b3d,
title = "The effects of soft and hard service attributes on loyalty: The mediating role of trust",
abstract = "Purpose - Drawing on social exchange and similarity attraction theories, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of soft attributes (e.g. social and relational attributes) on hard attributes (e.g. core attribute performance) in a high contact service context, namely in the hair care service environment. Design/methodology/approach - This research extends the key mediating variable model (KMVM) of Morgan and Hunt by hypothesising that, while trust fully mediates the effect of soft attributes on loyalty, trust only partially mediates the effect of hard attributes on loyalty. Data were collected using the critical incident technique from 176 students. Findings - Supports the fully mediating role of trust for soft attributes and a partially mediating role of trust for hard attributes. Research limitations/implications - Future research should test the model in contexts that involve less employee-customer contact and interaction. Originality/value - The study underscores the practical importance of investing in non-core (soft attributes such as social and relational attributes that focus on social bonding) attributes in addition to core attributes (hard attributes such as performance excellence of key service delivered) in service marketing.",
keywords = "Customer loyalty, Social interaction, Trust",
author = "Sei Auh",
year = "2005",
doi = "10.1108/08876040510591394",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "19",
pages = "81--92",
journal = "Journal of Services Marketing",
issn = "0887-6045",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effects of soft and hard service attributes on loyalty

T2 - The mediating role of trust

AU - Auh, Sei

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - Purpose - Drawing on social exchange and similarity attraction theories, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of soft attributes (e.g. social and relational attributes) on hard attributes (e.g. core attribute performance) in a high contact service context, namely in the hair care service environment. Design/methodology/approach - This research extends the key mediating variable model (KMVM) of Morgan and Hunt by hypothesising that, while trust fully mediates the effect of soft attributes on loyalty, trust only partially mediates the effect of hard attributes on loyalty. Data were collected using the critical incident technique from 176 students. Findings - Supports the fully mediating role of trust for soft attributes and a partially mediating role of trust for hard attributes. Research limitations/implications - Future research should test the model in contexts that involve less employee-customer contact and interaction. Originality/value - The study underscores the practical importance of investing in non-core (soft attributes such as social and relational attributes that focus on social bonding) attributes in addition to core attributes (hard attributes such as performance excellence of key service delivered) in service marketing.

AB - Purpose - Drawing on social exchange and similarity attraction theories, the purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of soft attributes (e.g. social and relational attributes) on hard attributes (e.g. core attribute performance) in a high contact service context, namely in the hair care service environment. Design/methodology/approach - This research extends the key mediating variable model (KMVM) of Morgan and Hunt by hypothesising that, while trust fully mediates the effect of soft attributes on loyalty, trust only partially mediates the effect of hard attributes on loyalty. Data were collected using the critical incident technique from 176 students. Findings - Supports the fully mediating role of trust for soft attributes and a partially mediating role of trust for hard attributes. Research limitations/implications - Future research should test the model in contexts that involve less employee-customer contact and interaction. Originality/value - The study underscores the practical importance of investing in non-core (soft attributes such as social and relational attributes that focus on social bonding) attributes in addition to core attributes (hard attributes such as performance excellence of key service delivered) in service marketing.

KW - Customer loyalty

KW - Social interaction

KW - Trust

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=19644386075&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=19644386075&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/08876040510591394

DO - 10.1108/08876040510591394

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 81

EP - 92

JO - Journal of Services Marketing

JF - Journal of Services Marketing

SN - 0887-6045

IS - 2

ER -