INFLUENCE OF CUSTOMER EMOTIONS ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY AMONG STAR-RATED HOTELS IN NORTH RIFT, KENYA
Jemaiyo Imamai, Beatrice
Kamau, Geoffrey G.
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With business competition becoming more intense, the most important issues that sellers face are on providing excellent quality products or services and keeping loyal customers to ensure long-term profit to their organizations. As such, the development and sustainability of customer loyalty is important in creating and maintaining competitive advantage. One way that organizations can enhance customer loyalty is by cultivating positive emotional connection through enhanced service experiences. The study sought to determine the relationship between customer emotions and consumer loyalty among star-rated hotels in North Rift, Kenya. The research adopted a descriptive survey research design. The target population for the study was made of 1416 loyal customers from the fifteen (15) star-rated hotels in North Rift region of Kenya. The sample size was 455 guests obtained using a stratified random sampling method. Data was collected using a questionnaire. Structural Equation Model (SEM) was applied with R-value being estimated to analyse and test hypotheses. The results of the study showed that customer emotions played a significant role in achieving customer loyalty among star-rated hotels in the study area (p < 0.05). Specifically, variables like felt comfortable, welcomed, contented, secure, important, entertained, relaxed, elegant, cool, excited, sophisticated and respected among others were found to enhance the loyalty of customers. On the other hand, negative emotions such as my request were nullified, felt displeased, ignored, angry, anxious, discontent, worried, sad, and ashamed among others were found to discourage customer loyalty. Therefore, the study recommends that hotels should pursue positive customer emotions in order to enhance the loyalty of their customers.