1995 Volume 40 Issue 1 Pages 14-28
A number of researchers emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction (CS) in fitness clubs. They support the expectancy disconfirmation paradigm, which holds satisfaction occurs when perceived performance fills or exceeds pre-purchase expectations. This proposition, however, has not been assessed empirically. The authors hypothesize, from theoretical bases, that the perceived performance would be a more appropriate scale for the assessment CS in fitness clubs in comparison with other scales. The purpose of this study was to identity the more appropriate scale to describe CS in fitness clubs by making a comparison between the perceived performance scale and the expectancy disconfirmation scale. Five hundred and forty-nine participants from 6 for-profit fitness clubs in Tokai district responded to the survey. Their data were analyzed by applying factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. The main results were as follows: 1) There were some differences between factor constructs of the expectations and the performance. This suggests the possibility that customers might not be satisfied even if their pre-purchase expectations are filled as expected. 2) Although the levels of performance were lower than the levels of expectations in many benefit dimensions, overall satisfaction was comparatively high. This indicates customers were satisfied even if their pre-purchase expectations were not filled. 3) Both perceived performance and disconfirmation (difference between expected performance and perceived performance) exerted significant influence on satisfaction. However, the former had much higher explanation validity. Due to the specific consumption style (purchase of one year membership), the expectation itself may change during that period. This would reduce the explanation validity of disconfirmation. These results suggest that perceived performance is the more appropriate scale for the assesment of CS in fitness clubs in comparison with the disconfirmation scale.