Comparison of The Loyalty Model of New and Experienced Customers of Health Clubs In Isfahan

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Sports Management, Department of Sports Science, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Qom University, Qom, Iran.

2 PhD student in Sports Management, Faculty of Physical Education, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran.

3 Master of Sports Management, Department of Sports Sciences, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Qom University, Qom, Iran.



The increase in demand for sports and physical activity services and the increase in the number of companies providing these services has caused competition in this sector like in other sectors. In order to stay in the field of competition, attention to the quality of services has always been expanding, and the different characteristics of services make the evaluation of service quality and, of course, its quality improvement very complicated. This issue requires the use of a suitable tool to evaluate the quality of an intangible product. Consumers now have more information and knowledge about services than ever before, which organizations use as a competitive tool in the market. Several models have been used to evaluate service quality in sports events. One of the approaches is to use the SERVQUAL model. Considering that the quality of service is focused on customers and one of the environmental factors affecting organizations are the customers of those organizations, management experts have listed customer satisfaction as one of the most important duties and priorities of management of organizations and the necessity The constant and stable commitment of top managers to attract the opinion of customers has been considered as the main prerequisite for success. The higher the level of customer satisfaction, the more profit it will bring to the company. Customer satisfaction is a post-purchase evaluation in which the selected options at least give results (exceed), are equal to or exceed the customer's expectations, while if the results obtained do not meet the consumer's expectations or in other words Customer satisfaction is a personal behavior, dissatisfaction is created after comparing the performance (or results) that he feels compared to his expectations. In fact, customer satisfaction is the result of satisfying the customer's needs and it expresses a kind of subjective judgment about the product or service. Satisfaction is the most common predictor of loyalty and there is extensive literature that links the two variables in sports organizations. The model of creating loyalty through increasing the quality of services and gaining satisfaction is one of the most common models that has been discussed in studies related to customer loyalty and satisfaction in various researches. Loyalty comes from belief in the quality of services, psychological decision (behavioral intentions) and positive and favorable attitude, and it is the repetition of purchase behavior and stability in purchase behavior. Considering the fact that the satisfied customer will most likely continue to follow up and purchase more continuously, they will also deal with word of mouth advertising and increasing the volume of use of the facilities. For this reason, it is stated that success in the profession increases as a result of the presence of loyal customers, the reduction in time spent searching for new customers, and the enthusiasm and willingness of customers to pay a higher price due to the provision of high-quality services. In recent years, due to the relative promotion of the role and position of sports among people in the society, managing the quality of services and evaluating customer satisfaction and loyalty has become one of the main concerns of sports sector managers. Managers in this department want to know how they can more effectively measure the quality of services and evaluate customer satisfaction and loyalty in their organization, also managers of all clubs and sports centers are looking to increase the number of their loyal customers and customer evaluation can be a great help to them. Therefore, this research, while focusing on the customers of health sports services, by comparing the loyalty pattern and repurchase intention of the customers of recreational and sports complexes, based on service quality and satisfaction, seeks to determine whether the conceptual model for evaluating the loyalty of new and old customers of recreational and sports centers based on quality Can the service be explained? In this research, the target statistical population includes all customers who use the services of recreational and sports complexes in Isfahan city, and these customers were selected as available samples. Based on Morgan's table, the maximum sample size of 384 people was selected. In this study, new customers (156 people) have been in the clubs for 1 to 6 months, and customers who have been members of the club for more than 6 months are considered as long-term customers (228 people). In this research, the questions raised in the questionnaire were set based on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree, strongly disagree). The questionnaire used has 72 questions, which consisted of 5 sections including personal information, service quality, satisfaction, customer loyalty and return decisions. In this research, standard questionnaires whose validity has been confirmed by sports management experts and professors (ten people) have been used. Cronbach's alpha coefficient for service quality was 0.89, satisfaction was 0.93, loyalty was 0.85 and return was 0.72. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics including Kolmogorov Smirnov test to measure the normality of data distribution, Pearson correlation test to determine the relationship of variables and structural equations to determine the fit of the model were used to analyze the data. The findings showed that the correlation between the variables of the research is between 0.59 and 0.75, the highest correlation between the variable of loyalty and the variable of willingness to return is r=0.75, the correlation between the variable of service quality and the variable of customer satisfaction is r=0.66. =, on the other hand, the relationship between satisfaction variable and loyalty variable is r=0.63. It is necessary to remember that all the relationships between the variables are positive and direct. In general, according to the significance of factor loadings and desirable indicators of model fit, it can be said that the model of the communication path of the perceived quality of sports services, satisfaction, desire to return and loyalty of long-standing customers of Isfahan's recreational and sports complexes has a good fit based on the conceptual model. The fit of both models was confirmed and therefore it can be acknowledged that the conceptual model of this research with the modifications made in both groups of new and old customers has a good fit and no difference can be seen in this respect. Based on the findings of the modified model, it can be said; The path model has a good fit with the data in both groups of new and old customers. In general, according to the significance of factor loadings and desirable indicators of model fit, it can be said that the model of the communication path of the perceived quality of sports services, satisfaction, desire to return and loyalty of new and old customers of Isfahan's recreational and sports complexes is based on a conceptual model of It has a good fit. According to the modified model of the communication path, it can be said that service quality has a significant relationship directly with both satisfaction and loyalty. Satisfaction has a direct and significant relationship with loyalty and the desire to return, and loyalty has a direct and significant relationship with the desire to return all customers. Based on this, it is suggested that the managers of sports complexes try to maximize the quality of services in sports clubs and keep them at the desired level while paying full attention to the different dimensions of service quality.


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