Service experiences and satisfaction judgments: The use of affect and beliefs in judgment formation

Recalling a service experience may increase the accessibility of relevant beliefs and affect an individual's temporary mood. The authors examined the interplay of mood and accessible beliefs in the construction of satisfaction judgments in 3 studies with 277 college students. It was found that episodically recounting the specific service encounter results in assimilation effects on the satisfaction ratings of both the service provider and a competitive company. Analytically recounting the service encounter, on the other hand, results in assimilation effects for judgments of the service provider and effects in the direction of contrast for judgments of the competitive company. In this case, beliefs about the service provider appear to provide a comparison standard against which the competitive company is judged. Implications of these findings for measuring and managing consumer satisfaction are discussed. Scenarios for Study 3 are appended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)