Differential impact of social influence in the hospitality encounter
Purpose - This study investigates how social influence variables will affect repurchase intentions differently depending on the number of prior visits made to the service. Specifically, the social influence variables of social regard and social comfort are compared with perceived core service quality to determine the greatest influence on repurchase intentions at four stages of customer experience with the service. Design/methodology/approach - A single, cross-sectional survey was conducted to gather data for this study. Customer data were drawn from nine small hospitality businesses operating in Queensland, Australia. Findings - A cross-sectional survey of 146 cafe respondents revealed that social regard is the greatest influence on repurchase intentions for the initial visits to the cafe, but after 11 visits only perceived core service quality is a significant predictor. Research limitations/implications - The cross-sectional design used in this study may not yield accurate associations between predictors and re-purchase behaviour. In addition, the sample was weighted toward females. Practical implications - The results suggest that, for customers in the early cafe encounter, feeling respected is especially important. Originality/value - This exploratory study sheds light on some of the predictor variables of re-purchase intentions.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management