Customer satisfaction, trust and commitment as predictors of customer loyalty within an optometric practice environment
Optometric businesses need to adopt strategies to enhance loyalty, as customer satisfaction is not enough to ensure loyalty and customer retention. It has been stated that 85% of patients in the optometric industry who defect to other service providers were satisfied with the service received just before defecting. Consequently, to assist optometric practices in South Africa with their customer loyalty strategies, the purpose of the research conducted for this article was to develop an understanding of the
influence of the independent variables of customer satisfaction, trust and commitment on customer loyalty within an optometric practice. The methodological approach followed was exploratory and quantitative in nature. The sample consisted of 357 patients who had visited the practice twice or more within the past six years. A structured questionnaire, with a five-point Likert scale, was used. A descriptive and multiple regression analysis approach was used to analyse the results. The main conclusion is that customer satisfaction had the highest correlation with customer loyalty, but the other independent variables also significantly influence customer loyalty within an optometric practice environment. The implication is that optometric practices need to focus on customer satisfaction, trust
and commitment in order to improve customer loyalty.
Key words: optometric practice, customer loyalty, customer retention, customer satisfaction, customer relationship management