Should I stay or should I go? The effects of affect and ambivalence on attitude loyalty to a service provider
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The paper presents an empirical analysis of a loyalty model that explores the influence of emotions and attitude ambivalence on attitude loyalty to a higher education service provider. The basis for the study is a survey of 541 students and the method is multiple group structural equation estimation. Attitude ambivalence has significant moderating effects on the various relationships of the model. Service quality (intangible quality driver) has a much stronger effect on loyalty when ambivalence is low, whereas facilities (tangible quality driver) are more important when ambivalence is high. A general managerial implication is that management should approach ambivalent and non-ambivalent customers in different ways. By focusing on intangible aspects for low ambivalent customers and tangible aspects for high ambivalent customers, loyalty may increase and thus improve the financial performance of the service provider. For highly ambivalent customers it is more important to avoid situations that can trigger negative emotional reactions, than to encourage the positive ones.