A conceptual framework for studying customer satisfaction in residential construction

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Construction Management and Economics, 2007, 25 (2), pp. 171 - 182
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A conceptual framework for studying customer satisfaction in Australian residential construction is developed using marketing theory merged with construction concepts. The framework aims to act as a stepping stone for determining how empirical data from real residential construction situations and real customers, fits marketing theory. To this end, customer satisfaction is modelled as a gap between two constructs: pre-purchase expectations and purchase perceptions. A parallel marketing concept known as the purchase decision process is used to model identifiable inputs to the two constructs, thus creating the ability to model different customer profiles. The purchase decision process is adapted to suit residential construction and can be described as: housing needs recognition, search for tenders, evaluation of competing contractors, signing of contracts, progressive construction outcomes and practical completion outcomes. The first four contribute to pre-purchase expectations and the remainder to perceptions of what is actually provided. Service quality, product quality and price are modelled as features that manifest consistently during the purchase decision process and therefore in pre-purchase expectations and purchase perceptions, as well. Future research aims to develop a grounded model of customer satisfaction in residential construction.
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