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Rejoinder - Indirect Financial Benefits from Service Quality

Summary: Thanks to George Easton and Mary Sullivan for their thoughtful reading of our article. In many ways, their point of view is complementary to ours, in that their discussion reflects the statistical process control view of quality. This can be clearly seen in their revealing assumption that operational measures measure "actual" quality, while customer measures do not. We argue that this assumption is not appropriate when explaining the behavior of customers (purchase, usage, and so on).

Easton and Sullivan also point out some of the research issues that can arise when investigating a time series of customer satisfaction data. Based on these issues. and supported by simulations to verify that those issues can change the interpretation of the analysis, Easton and Sullivan suggest that certain results may be overstated. We argue that some of these statistical arguments are dependent on an internal process view of quality, as opposed to a customer-centered view. With respect to their other statistical concerns, we demonstrate that the discussants' statistical objections generally have little impact on the results, but we point out the issues that are most likely to introduce bias. We also demonstrate that, based on the data, any introduced bias is likely to be relatively small.

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  • Topics: Customer Satisfaction and Value
  • Keywords: Customer retention,Customers,Marketing,Advertising,Word of mouth
  • Author: Danaher, Peter J.; Rust, Roland T.
  • Journal: Quality Management Journal