Positive emotions: The connection between customer quality evaluations and loyalty

Esther Gracia*, Arnold B. Bakker, Rosa M. Grau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Although customer quality evaluations is a recognized precursor to loyalty, several studies have indicated that loyalty also depends on favorable customer emotions toward a hotel or restaurant. This model of developing loyalty can be summarized as a process that begins with the customer's favorable assessment of service quality; continues with positive feelings toward the establishment; and ends with loyalty behavior, including repeat purchases and favorable recommendations. To assess this process, a cognitive-affective-conative model is tested, using separate constructs to clarify the specific role of customers' positive affective responses in enhancing customer loyalty. Based on a sample of 586 hotel customers and 571 restaurant customers from 120 Spanish establishments, the results of the multigroup structural equation modeling analyses confirmed the proposed hypothesis that service quality increases positive affective responses, and these, in turn, increase customer loyalty. Thus, positive affective responses partially mediate the relationship between service quality perceptions and customer loyalty in hotels and restaurants simultaneously. These results suggest that customer loyalty in hotels and restaurants may follow a process were cognitive evaluations and emotions play an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: The authors grateful acknowledge the support of a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science & Technology (PB98 1499-C03-03).


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