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Vet Sci. 2018 Nov 6;5(4). pii: E95. doi: 10.3390/vetsci5040095.

The Dimensions of Pet-Owner Loyalty and the Relationship with Communication, Trust, Commitment and Perceived Value.

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College of Business, Wilmington University, 320 N. DuPont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720, USA.


Loyalty is one of the greatest intangible assets that any organization can possess and improving client loyalty is a primary marketing goal that can have a significant financial impact on any business. This quantitative study examined the mediating role of communication on the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty (attitudinal and behavioral) in veterinary clinics, along with the moderating roles of trust, commitment, perceived value, and relational characteristics. Responses collected from 351 pet-owners through social media were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results show that attitudinal loyalty (AL) has a strong positive relationship with communication at multiple points in a veterinary clinic, whereas the relationship with behavioral loyalty (BL) was not as clear. Additional findings suggest that AL, which is influenced by trust in the veterinarian, communication from staff members and commitment, has a strong positive relationship with behavioral intentions, increases the number of products and services that a pet-owner consumes at his or her primary veterinary clinic, and attenuates the role of cost in receiving veterinary care. These findings can help veterinary clinic owners and managers in developing and implementing relationship strategies that improve pet-owner loyalty.


attitudinal loyalty; behavioral loyalty; commitment; communication; customer loyalty; customer satisfaction; perceived value; pet-owner; relationship between satisfaction and loyalty; trust; value co-creation; veterinarian; veterinary medicine

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