Consumer satisfaction for internet service providers: An analysis of underlying processes

  • Erevelles S
  • Srinivasan S
  • Rangel S
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A key managerial challenge, of interest to academics and practitioners
alike, is the assessment and management of customer satisfaction.
In this paper, we examine the underlying processes involving consumer
satisfaction and switching patterns among ISPs using different satisfaction
models, including the expectations-disconfirmation model, the attribution
model, and an affective model. Our results indicate that the satisfaction
levels of ISP consumers are generally relatively low, despite the
fact that consumer expectations of ISPs are also low, reflecting
“mediocrity” in the marketplace. In addition, consumers attribute
their dissatisfaction to ISP indifference and believe that managing
dissatisfaction is within the control of the ISP. Moreover, “affective”
factors play an important role in satisfaction processes and switching
behavior. Customer service including technical support and responsiveness
of service staff is an important “determinant” factor in ISP selection.
We suggest that as the ISP market matures, service providers that
pay attention to affective factors and to building “relationships”
with their customers will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace
of the future.

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  • Sunil Erevelles

  • Shuba Srinivasan

  • Steven Rangel

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