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Economic influences on perceived value, quality expectations and customer satisfaction

Frank, Björn, Enkawa, Takao
International journal of consumer studies 2009 v.33 no.1 pp. 72-82
consumer attitudes, consumer satisfaction, economic development, economic factors, equations, managers, marketing, models, principal component analysis, regression analysis, researchers, Germany, Japan
Consumer research has extensively analysed psychological determinants of customer satisfaction. As macro-level customer satisfaction data were not available until recently, researchers have only taken first steps towards analysing economic determinants of customer satisfaction. Based on a more complex conceptual framework and on data from Germany and Japan, this article examines how economic processes influence the perceived value of goods and services, quality expectations and customer satisfaction. Using principal component analysis, regression analysis and structural equation modelling, this study finds that perceived value is positively influenced by both economic growth and lagged economic expectations. Customer satisfaction is positively influenced by economic growth and negatively by current economic expectations, with half of the impact mediated by perceived value. Economic expectations positively influence expectations regarding the quality of goods and services. These results imply that consumer researchers should no longer ignore economic influences on consumer attitudes. Marketing managers are advised to be cautious not to misinterpret economic-induced variations in customer satisfaction as caused by corporate performance.