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Title: How to keep the customer! How do customers retain longer in a physical sport centre?
Authors: Loots, D
Keywords: Service quality
Sport and Physical Activity Services (SPS)
Physical activity and Sport Centres (PSCs)
Customer Satisfaction
Issue Date: 3-Oct-2016
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Research to investigate the factors that influence customer retention (behavioral loyalty) in the Dutch PSC sector In the Dutch environment the participation of members in physical activity sport centers (PSCs) is stabilizing (Rabobank Cijfers en Trends, 2014). A recent article in a major Dutch newspaper wrote that the Dutch are following the trend in the Western world of becoming healthier and sporting more, however the participation in PSCs is declining. Because of the stabilized/declining trend PSCs face increased competition when acquiring new members and trying to keep existing ones. Customer retention and customer loyalty, therefore, are becoming more and more important and vital for PSCs. Insight in what drives customer loyalty is therefore critical. Yildiz & Kara (2012) developed a conceptual model to measure service quality in the PSC market measured by use of the QSport-14. They advised to do further research on the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. Schijns and LeConte started with their research in 2014 in the Dutch SPS market. The goal of this research is to complement the research of Schijns and LeConte (2015) for the Dutch sports environment by verifying the influence of service quality in PSCs and investigating additional factors as well, being ambiance activities, parking and location. These insights should help managers as well to decide where to invest in to make sure customer will become and remain loyal to their PSC. To collect data, all adult members of a number of different sport clubs in the Netherlands where questioned. Being a Crossfit club in Eindhoven, a (power)bootcampclub in Veldhoven, a fitnessclub in Veldhoven, a survival club in Zeist, a track and field club in Zeist and towards members of an online lifestyle coach program with members that are part of different fitness clubs across the Netherlands. Participants were asked to answer the questions on a 5-point Likert scale. In the end this resulted in a total of 388 completed questionnaires. Whereof 382 where used for the data-analysis with Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The model is tested on convergent validity, indicator reliability, composite reliability and discriminant validity all be found to be significant, which means that all criteria in the model have a fit and the model is reliable. Fourteen hypotheses are tested whereof eleven found to be significant for the total tested population, one is rejected and two are found to be significant only for part of the tested population. In short this research confirms the current model that shows the relationships between customer satisfaction, trust and customer loyalty (attitudinal- behavioral loyalty). In addition to that this research found that there are two other determinants of customer satisfaction, namely: parking (facilities) and location. A third factor ‘ambiance activities’ was investigated as well but found to be not significant. Summarized this research contributes to science by confirming an earlier tested model and extending it with two additional constructs for the SPS sector. The result is the model below, where two relationships are only found to be significant for one moderator. As the model is still not complete further research should focus on identifying other determinants of customer satisfaction and possibly other determinants of service quality as well. For management this research provides more guidance on how to manage and increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in the PSC sector and how to spend investments on this area.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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