Exploring the relationship between customer education and customer satisfaction
Purpose of the paper: This paper has a dual objective: it explores how to build an effective awareness/education program in terms of customer education (CE) and verifies how this can lead to improved satisfaction and whether customers find value in the education involved in these programs.
Methodology: It consists of a literature review on the role of CE, a description of two models - the ‘5Ms’ CE Model and that of Honebein and Cammarano, and adaptation/application of these to two major Italian coffee firms via qualitative research.
Findings: Findings indicate that the adapted models fit well with the coffee industry and outline CE dimensions which - if applied - could help underpin increased customer satisfaction in the B2D (business-to-distributor) sector.
Research limits: Despite the research contribution, this is an exploratory study that needs to be applied to a larger number of cases, and subsequent empirical testing via quantitative methods.
Practical implications: The application of these models to the B2D sector allows the suggestion of strategies to better develop CE programs.
Originality of the paper: CE plays an important role in satisfaction, particularly in industrial markets (B2B). However, little is known about CE’s educational effect in terms of ROI related to satisfaction in the B2D sector. In addressing this, two models of consumer education are analyzed and applied to the Italian coffee B2D market.
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