Siegel, M., & Lotenberg, L.D. (2007). Marketing public health: strategies to promote social change. Jones & Bartlett Learning
It is important to note that various authors and experts have over time given slightly different definitions of customer satisfaction as well as loyalty. However, the most practical definition in my own opinion is the one given by Siegel & Lotenberg (2007). According to Siegel & Lotenberg (2007), customer loyalty can be defined as the likelihood of a client staying with a given brand and/or vendor. On the other hand, Siegel & Lotenberg (2007) define customer royalty as the level or degree to which a customer’s expectations are met or exceeded by a company’s or firms products or group of products. In healthcare marketing, Siegel & Lotenberg (2007) note that customer satisfaction is a key indicator of performance within the field of healthcare marketing.
Berkowitz, E.N. (2006). Essentials of health care marketing. Jones & Bartlett Learning
Berkowitz (2006) argues that with regard to the healthcare consumer, customer satisfaction is far much important than customer royalty. Here, Berkowitz (2006) notes that while other firms working in a non-healthcare field can concentrate on retaining customers hence customer royalty, all the players in the healthcare industry are bound by their code of conduct as well as ethics to put the needs of healthcare consumers first. Hence in this regard, what is important is not customer royalty but customer satisfaction.
Fortenberry, J.L. (2010). Cases in Health Care Marketing. Jones & Bartlett Learning
Fortenberry (2010) seems to support the assertion above by arguing that customer loyalty is a consequence of customer satisfaction. The reasoning here is that if customers are satisfied by the heath care products utility, that is, its ability to satisfy their needs and wants, then they will be loyal to the same. This argument can be seen to make sense as according to Fortenberry (2010), there is no way customer loyalty can precede customer satisfaction. Hence all in all, customer satisfaction ultimately leads top customer royalty.
Thomas, R.K. (2007). Health Services Marketing: A Practitioner's Guide. John Wiley & Sons.
The position held by Thomas (2007) seems to be pro-business. In his view, customer royalty is essential to maintain the relevance of healthcare marketing. This argument seems to favor customer loyalty over customer satisfaction by arguing that customer royalty is what keeps the players in the healthcare marketplace afloat. He continues to argue that though essential, the creation of strategies to enhance customer satisfaction in the long run may be too expensive and hence difficult to sustain in the long run.
Mohan, G.K. (2006). Health Care Marketing. Discovery Publishing House.
The position taken by Mohan (2006)seems to dispute the one advanced by Thomas (2007) above. In his view, it may be expensive for some players in the healthcare marketplace to realize customer satisfaction but the benefits realized on attainment of customer royalty will end up raking in returns far in excess of the previous costs. This argument is in support of the notion that customer satisfaction eventually brings about customer royalty. Players in the healthcare market place are hence advised to dedicate all their efforts on satisfying, meeting as well as exceeding the expectations of customers so as to guarantee loyalty. This in the long run will be beneficial to all the healthcare enterprises that choose to adopt the same. Mohan (2006) notes that any attempt to fulfill the requirements of customers is rewarded by the establishment of a long-serving relationship between a retailer and its customers. Hence all in all, customer satisfaction is more important than customer royalty.