Mediational Role of Customer Emotions in the Relationship Between Customer Experience and Purchase Behavior in the Hotel Industry

Beatrice Chepngetich, Oscar Kambona Ouma, Fredrick Onyango Aila


Consumers experience a broad range of emotions, both simultaneously and successively while interacting with service providers. The role and effect of emotion are drawing greater attention from marketing intellectuals in their quest for a better understanding of consumers and their consumption experiences. This study aimed at assessing customer experience and its relative effects on customer emotions and purchase behavior in the Kenyan hotel industry. The study adopted Berry and Carbone’s conceptualization of customer experience; Ritchins’ (1997) clues to measure customer emotions and Shen and Zhao (2005) indicators to measure purchase behavior. A mixed exploratory research design was adopted to conduct the research where self administered questionnaires were used to collect quantitative data. The study assessed luxury hotels within Nairobi (20), Kisumu (1) and Mombasa (10) since they had a clear and consistent organizational structure and can give more insight into experiences because of their experienced and demanding clientele. The study population was 5,800 guests staying in the hotels. A total of 361 guests were selected as the sample size using multi stage sampling procedure. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics which involved use of means, percentages and tests for normality and inferential statistics which included the use of correlation, principal axis factor analysis, regression and bootstrapping. Regression results showed that of the three customer experience factors, only humanic clue factor had significant influence on purchase behaviour (β = .17, t = 1.94, p = .05), with the rest of the two factors having no significant influence. The three customer experience factors together with customer emotions account for 44% of the total variance explained in purchase behaviour. Mediation results showed that customer emotions (CE) fully mediates the relationship between Functional clues factor (FCF) and purchase behaviour (PB) (β = .08, t = 1.97, p = .05, VAF = 200%). Customer emotions (CE) partially mediates the relationship between Humanic clues factor (HCF) and purchase behaviour (PB) (β = .14, t = 3.24, p = .00, VAF = 45%) and the relationship between Mechanic clues factor (MCF) and purchase behaviour (PB) (β = .11, t = 2.21, p = .03, VAF = 50%). The study findings complement the existing literature regarding the role of emotions in service settings and offer a new point of view for the linkage among customer emotions, customer experience drivers and customer purchase behavior. The study findings emphasized that hotel operators must consider the impact of customers’ emotions on post-purchasing behaviors in developing better marketing and service strategies for retaining customers.

Keywords: Customer, Customer experience, Customer emotions, Purchase behavior.

DOI: 10.7176/JMCR/58-05

Publication date:July 31st 2019

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