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Qing Zhang

DBA Graduate - 2013

Thesis title

Perceived Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, and Customer Loyalty: The Moderating Effect of Switching Costs in China Mobile Telecommunication Industry

Supervisor(s)

Michel Polski

Dr. Qing Zhang obtained a Doctorate of Business Administration from the Grenoble DBA Program in China. She also holds an MBA from the University of Western Sydney. Her main research interests  involve marketing and enterprise management. She currently works for China Telecom, one of the world’s top 500 companies. She also serves as an external tutor at Sun Yat-Sen Business School and Jinan University Business School.

In today‘s market community, main condition for protecting the customer base is to win customer loyalty. To achieve this aim, both academics and practitioners have attempted to uncover the most prominent antecedences of customer loyalty, such as perceived service quality, customer satisfaction and so on, and confirm that switching costs act as strategic role which can ensure customer loyalty. However, there is limited study focus on customer loyalty and the infection of different switching costs dimensions as a moderator variable. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship among perceived service quality, customer satisfaction customer loyalty and switching costs in the mobile telecommunication market. In this context, the aims of this study are (1) to develop a model by using perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and four types of switching costs, (2) to determine the relationship between perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, (3) to determine the key drivers of customer loyalty among perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, and four dimensions of switching costs, (4) to examine the moderating effects of different switching costs types on the relationship among perceived service quality, II customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in China mobile telecommunication market, (5) to examine the mediating effects of customer satisfaction on the relationship between perceived service quality and customer loyalty, (6) to find out the best market strategy between offence strategy and defense strategy. The results indicated that customer satisfaction is the first key factor to enhance customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction has mediating effect on perceived service quality/ customer loyalty link. Perceived service quality is the foundation of customer satisfaction. Switching costs act as an important role among perceived service quality, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Personal relationship switching costs and brand relationship are two important dimensions of switching costs to increase customer satisfaction and to keep customer loyalty. Finally, the study indicated that defense marketing strategy is the most important marketing strategy in current China mobile telecommunication market.