Experience vs quality: predicting satisfaction and loyalty in services

Cetin G.

SERVICE INDUSTRIES JOURNAL, vol.40, no.15-16, pp.1167-1182, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 15-16
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02642069.2020.1807005
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.1167-1182
  • Keywords: Service quality, customer experience, satisfaction, loyalty, package tours, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, PACKAGE TOURS, ENGAGEMENT, IMPACT, IDENTIFICATION, MANAGEMENT, FRAMEWORK, ISTANBUL
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Both quality and experience are discussed as antecedents of satisfaction and loyalty in services. Despite their popularity in measuring success, no previous study compared the effect size and impact of quality and experience on positive outcomes on the same product. In order to do so, package tours were selected as the case service. 356 questionnaires were collected from tourists participating in package tours. The impact of service quality and customer experience on satisfaction and loyalty was measured using regression analysis. Findings revealed that customer experience was a better predictor for both satisfaction and loyalty. Although service quality was also found as a significant antecedent, experience was able to explain a greater percentage of variance in positive customer behaviors. Through comparing the strength of service quality and customer experience on satisfaction and loyalty, this study offers both theoretical contributions and practical implications. The study identified experience as a better predictor for both satisfaction and loyalty than satisfaction which is an important contribution to the discussion on consumer behavior and its components. Tour operators organizing package tours who might design their itineraries based on experiential components might also achieve a greater satisfaction and loyalty.