The Effects of Online Service Quality on Consumer Satisfaction and Loyalty Intention -About Booking and Issuing Air Tickets on Website-

온라인 서비스 품질이 고객만족 및 충성의도에 미치는 영향 -항공권 예약.발권 웹사이트를 중심으로-

  • Received : 2010.05.17
  • Accepted : 2010.05.31
  • Published : 2010.07.31

Abstract

1. Introduction Today Internet is recognized as an important way for the transaction of products and services. According to the data surveyed by the National Statistical Office, the on-line transaction in 2007 for a year, 15.7656 trillion, shows a 17.1%(2.3060 trillion won) increase over last year, of these, the amount of B2C has been increased 12.0%(10.2258 trillion won). Like this, because the entry barrier of on-line market of Korea is low, many retailers could easily enter into the market. So the bigger its scale is, but on the other hand, the tougher its competition is. Particularly due to the Internet and innovation of IT, the existing market has been changed into the perfect competitive market(Srinivasan, Rolph & Kishore, 2002). In the early years of on-line business, they think that the main reason for success is a moderate price, they are awakened to its importance of on-line service quality with tough competition. If it's not sure whether customers can be provided with what they want, they can use the Web sites, perhaps they can trust their products that had been already bought or not, they have a doubt its viability(Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Malhotra, 2005). Customers can directly reserve and issue their air tickets irrespective of place and time at the Web sites of travel agencies or airlines, but its empirical studies about these Web sites for reserving and issuing air tickets are insufficient. Therefore this study goes on for following specific objects. First object is to measure service quality and service recovery of Web sites for reserving and issuing air tickets. Second is to look into whether above on-line service quality and on-line service recovery have an impact on overall service quality. Third is to seek for the relation with overall service quality and customer satisfaction, then this customer satisfaction and loyalty intention. 2. Theoretical Background 2.1 On-line Service Quality Barnes & Vidgen(2000; 2001a; 2001b; 2002) had invented the tool to measure Web sites' quality four times(called WebQual). The WebQual 1.0, Step one invented a measuring item for information quality based on QFD, and this had been verified by students of UK business school. The Web Qual 2.0, Step two invented for interaction quality, and had been judged by customers of on-line bookshop. The WebQual 3.0, Step three invented by consolidating the WebQual 1.0 for information quality and the WebQual2.0 for interactionquality. It includes 3-quality-dimension, information quality, interaction quality, site design, and had been assessed and confirmed by auction sites(e-bay, Amazon, QXL). Furtheron, through the former empirical studies, the authors changed sites quality into usability by judging that usability is a concept how customers interact with or perceive Web sites and It is used widely for accessing Web sites. By this process, WebQual 4.0 was invented, and is consist of 3-quality-dimension; information quality, interaction quality, usability, 22 items. However, because WebQual 4.0 is focusing on technical part, it's usable at the Website's design part, on the other hand, it's not usable at the Web site's pleasant experience part. Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Malhorta(2002; 2005) had invented the measure for measuring on-line service quality in 2002 and 2005. The study in 2002 divided on-line service quality into 5 dimensions. But these were not well-organized, so there needed to be studied again totally. So Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Malhorta(2005) re-worked out the study about on-line service quality measure base on 2002's study and invented E-S-QUAL. After they invented preliminary measure for on-line service quality, they made up a question for customers who had purchased at amazon.com and walmart.com and reassessed this measure. And they perfected an invention of E-S-QUAL consists of 4 dimensions, 22 items of efficiency, system availability, fulfillment, privacy. Efficiency measures assess to sites and usability and others, system availability measures accurate technical function of sites and others, fulfillment measures promptness of delivering products and sufficient goods and others and privacy measures the degree of protection of data about their customers and so on. 2.2 Service Recovery Service industries tend to minimize the losses by coping with service failure promptly. This responses of service providers to service failure mean service recovery(Kelly & Davis, 1994). Bitner(1990) went on his study from customers' view about service providers' behavior for customers to recognize their satisfaction/dissatisfaction at service point. According to them, to manage service failure successfully, exact recognition of service problem, an apology, sufficient description about service failure and some tangible compensation are important. Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Malhorta(2005) approached the service recovery from how to measure, rather than how to manage, and moved to on-line market not to off-line, then invented E-RecS-QUAL which is a measuring tool about on-line service recovery. 2.3 Customer Satisfaction The definition of customer satisfaction can be divided into two points of view. First, they approached customer satisfaction from outcome of comsumer. Howard & Sheth(1969) defined satisfaction as 'a cognitive condition feeling being rewarded properly or improperly for their sacrifice.' and Westbrook & Reilly(1983) also defined customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction as 'a psychological reaction to the behavior pattern of shopping and purchasing, the display condition of retail store, outcome of purchased goods and service as well as whole market.' Second, they approached customer satisfaction from process. Engel & Blackwell(1982) defined satisfaction as 'an assessment of a consistency in chosen alternative proposal and their belief they had with them.' Tse & Wilton(1988) defined customer satisfaction as 'a customers' reaction to discordance between advance expectation and ex post facto outcome.' That is, this point of view that customer satisfaction is process is the important factor that comparing and assessing process what they expect and outcome of consumer. Unlike outcome-oriented approach, process-oriented approach has many advantages. As process-oriented approach deals with customers' whole expenditure experience, it checks up main process by measuring one by one each factor which is essential role at each step. And this approach enables us to check perceptual/psychological process formed customer satisfaction. Because of these advantages, now many studies are adopting this process-oriented approach(Yi, 1995). 2.4 Loyalty Intention Loyalty has been studied by dividing into behavioral approaches, attitudinal approaches and complex approaches(Dekimpe et al., 1997). In the early years of study, they defined loyalty focusing on behavioral concept, behavioral approaches regard customer loyalty as "a tendency to purchase periodically within a certain period of time at specific retail store." But the loyalty of behavioral approaches focuses on only outcome of customer behavior, so there are someone to point the limits that customers' decision-making situation or process were neglected(Enis & Paul, 1970; Raj, 1982; Lee, 2002). So the attitudinal approaches were suggested. The attitudinal approaches consider loyalty contains all the cognitive, emotional, voluntary factors(Oliver, 1997), define the customer loyalty as "friendly behaviors for specific retail stores." However these attitudinal approaches can explain that how the customer loyalty form and change, but cannot say positively whether it is moved to real purchasing in the future or not. This is a kind of shortcoming(Oh, 1995). 3. Research Design 3.1 Research Model Based on the objects of this study, the research model derived is

. 3.2 Hypotheses 3.2.1 The Hypothesis of On-line Service Quality and Overall Service Quality The relation between on-line service quality and overall service quality I-1. Efficiency of on-line service quality may have a significant effect on overall service quality. I-2. System availability of on-line service quality may have a significant effect on overall service quality. I-3. Fulfillment of on-line service quality may have a significant effect on overall service quality. I-4. Privacy of on-line service quality may have a significant effect on overall service quality. 3.2.2 The Hypothesis of On-line Service Recovery and Overall Service Quality The relation between on-line service recovery and overall service quality II-1. Responsiveness of on-line service recovery may have a significant effect on overall service quality. II-2. Compensation of on-line service recovery may have a significant effect on overall service quality. II-3. Contact of on-line service recovery may have a significant effect on overall service quality. 3.2.3 The Hypothesis of Overall Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction The relation between overall service quality and customer satisfaction III-1. Overall service quality may have a significant effect on customer satisfaction. 3.2.4 The Hypothesis of Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Intention The relation between customer satisfaction and loyalty intention IV-1. Customer satisfaction may have a significant effect on loyalty intention. 3.2.5 The Hypothesis of a Mediation Variable Wolfinbarger & Gilly(2003) and Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Malhotra(2005) had made clear that each dimension of service quality has a significant effect on overall service quality. Add to this, the authors analyzed empirically that each dimension of on-line service quality has a positive effect on customer satisfaction. With that viewpoint, this study would examine if overall service quality mediates between on-line service quality and each dimension of customer satisfaction, keeping on looking into the relation between on-line service quality and overall service quality, overall service quality and customer satisfaction. And as this study understands that each dimension of on-line service recovery also has an effect on overall service quality, this would examine if overall service quality also mediates between on-line service recovery and each dimension of customer satisfaction. Therefore these hypotheses followed are set up to examine if overall service quality plays its role as the mediation variable. The relation between on-line service quality and customer satisfaction V-1. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of efficiency of on-line service quality on customer satisfaction. V-2. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of system availability of on-line service quality on customer satisfaction. V-3. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of fulfillment of on-line service quality on customer satisfaction. V-4. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of privacy of on-line service quality on customer satisfaction. The relation between on-line service recovery and customer satisfaction VI-1. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of responsiveness of on-line service recovery on customer satisfaction. VI-2. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of compensation of on-line service recovery on customer satisfaction. VI-3. Overall service quality may mediate the effects of contact of on-line service recovery on customer satisfaction. 4. Empirical Analysis 4.1 Research design and the characters of data This empirical study aimed at customers who ever purchased air ticket at the Web sites for reservation and issue. Total 430 questionnaires were distributed, and 400 were collected. After surveying with the final questionnaire, the frequency test was performed about variables of sex, age which is demographic factors for analyzing general characters of sample data. Sex of data is consist of 146 of male(42.7%) and 196 of female(57.3%), so portion of female is a little higher. Age is composed of 11 of 10s(3.2%), 199 of 20s(58.2%), 105 of 30s(30.7%), 22 of 40s(6.4%), 5 of 50s(1.5%). The reason that portions of 20s and 30s are higher can be supposed that they use the Internet frequently and purchase air ticket directly. 4.2 Assessment of measuring scales This study used the internal consistency analysis to measure reliability, and then used the Cronbach'$\alpha$ to assess this. As a result of reliability test, Cronbach'$\alpha$ value of every component shows more than 0.6, it is found that reliance of the measured variables are ensured. After reliability test, the explorative factor analysis was performed. the factor sampling was performed by the Principal Component Analysis(PCA), the factor rotation was performed by the Varimax which is good for verifying mutual independence between factors. By the result of the initial factor analysis, items blocking construct validity were removed, and the result of the final factor analysis performed for verifying construct validity is followed above. 4.3 Hypothesis Testing 4.3.1 Hypothesis Testing by the Regression Analysis(SPSS) 4.3.2 Analysis of Mediation Effect To verify mediation effect of overall service quality of and , this study used the phased analysis method proposed by Baron & Kenny(1986) generally used. As shows, Step 1 and Step 2 are significant, and mediation variable has a significant effect on dependent variables and so does independent variables at Step 3, too. And there needs to prove the partial mediation effect, independent variable's estimate ability at Step 3(Standardized coefficient $\beta$eta : efficiency=.164, system availability=.074, fulfillment=.108, privacy=.107) is smaller than its estimate ability at Step 2(Standardized coefficient $\beta$eta : efficiency=.409, system availability=.227, fulfillment=.386, privacy=.237), so it was proved that overall service quality played a role as the partial mediation between on-line service quality and satisfaction. As
shows, Step 1 and Step 2 are significant, and mediation variable has a significant effect on dependent variables and so does independent variables at Step 3, too. And there needs to prove the partial mediation effect, independent variable's estimate ability at Step 3(Standardized coefficient $\beta$eta : responsiveness=.164, compensation=.117, contact=.113) is smaller than its estimate ability at Step 2(Standardized coefficient $\beta$eta : responsiveness=.409, compensation=.386, contact=.237), so it was proved that overall service quality played a role as the partial mediation between on-line service recovery and satisfaction. Verified results on the basis of empirical analysis are followed. First, as the result of , it shows that all were chosen, so on-line service quality has a positive effect on overall service quality. Especially fulfillment of overall service quality has the most effect, and then efficiency, system availability, privacy in order. Second, as the result of , it shows that all were chosen, so on-line service recovery has a positive effect on overall service quality. Especially responsiveness of overall service quality has the most effect, and then contact, compensation in order. Third, as the result of and , it shows that and all were chosen, so overall service quality has a positive effect on customer satisfaction, customer satisfaction has a positive effect on loyalty intention. Fourth, as the result of and , it shows that and all were chosen, so overall service quality plays a role as the partial mediation between on-line service quality and customer satisfaction, on-line service recovery and customer satisfaction. 5. Conclusion This study measured and analyzed service quality and service recovery of the Web sites that customers made a reservation and issued their air tickets, and by improving customer satisfaction through the result, this study put its final goal to grope how to keep loyalty customers. On the basis of the result of empirical analysis, suggestion points of this study are followed. First, this study regarded E-S-QUAL that measures on-line service quality and E-RecS-QUAL that measures on-line service recovery as variables, so it overcame the limit of existing studies that used modified SERVQUAL to measure service quality of the Web sites. Second, it shows that fulfillment and efficiency of on-line service quality have the most significant effect on overall service quality. Therefore the Web sites of reserving and issuing air tickets should try harder to elevate efficiency and fulfillment. Third, privacy of on-line service quality has the least significant effect on overall service quality, but this may be caused by un-assurance of customers whether the Web sites protect safely their confidential information or not. So they need to notify customers of this fact clearly. Fourth, there are many cases that customers don't recognize the importance of on-line service recovery, but if they would think that On-line service recovery has an effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty intention, as its importance is very significant they should prepare for that. Fifth, because overall service quality has a positive effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty intention, they should try harder to elevate service quality and service recovery of the Web sites of reserving and issuing air tickets to maximize customer satisfaction and to secure loyalty customers. Sixth, it is found that overall service quality plays a role as the partial mediation, but now there are rarely existing studies about this, so there need to be more studies about this.