Customer satisfaction management: Exploring temporal changes in nonlinearities in satisfaction formation of skiers

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Customer satisfaction is one of the most important success drivers. Managers need to understand how satisfaction is formed, which factors to focus on, and how to increase the performance. The Kano model offers useful guidance for managers to increase customer satisfaction. It assumes that there are three different factors, which influence overall satisfaction, and that the weight of these factors changes over time. This study adds to limited empirical evidence on temporal changes of nonlinear relationships between attribute performance and customer satisfaction. The data comprise two waves of a large-scale sample of more than 40,000 skiers in 55 Alpine ski resorts in 2012 and 2016. Applying nonlinear structural equation modeling, Ski Core and Value-for-Money were identified as basic factors (dissatisfiers) and Ski Peripherals as a performance factor. Change in skiers’ satisfaction levels operates at a slow pace and, besides general industry trends, time-related segmentation criteria like loyalty and skier skills play a salient role. Especially, the attribute Value-for-Money is prone to temporal changes.

Acknowledgments
We thank Michael Partel from Mountain-Management C. Est for granting access to the data.

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    • Figure 1. Conceptual model
    • Figure 2. Ski Core factor
    • Figure 3. Ski Peripherals factor
    • Figure 4. Value-for-Money factor
    • Figure 5. Ski Core in two age and skiing skill groups
    • Figure 6. Ski Peripherals in two age and skiing skill groups
    • Figure 7. Value-for-Money in two age and skiing skill groups
    • Figure 8. Ski Core in two loyalty groups
    • Figure 9. Ski Peripherals in two loyalty groups
    • Figure 10. Value-for-Money in two loyalty groups
    • Table 1. Demographics
    • Table 2. Coefficients and 95% confidence intervals for the linear, quadratic, and cubic terms 2012–2016
    • Table 3. Value-for-Money structural coefficients for low- and high-skill skiers
    • Table A1. Studies investigating drivers of overall customer satisfaction with a ski resort
    • Table B1. Dimensional structure according to EFA and Mokken item scalability > .40
    • Conceptualization
      Kurt Matzler, Andreas Strobl, Karin Teichmann
    • Project administration
      Kurt Matzler, Andreas Strobl
    • Writing – original draft
      Kurt Matzler, Josef Mazanec, Andreas Strobl, Karin Teichmann
    • Writing – review & editing
      Kurt Matzler, Andreas Strobl, Karin Teichmann
    • Formal Analysis
      Josef Mazanec
    • Methodology
      Josef Mazanec
    • Visualization
      Josef Mazanec
    • Data curation
      Andreas Strobl, Karin Teichmann