CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER PATRONAGE OF AUTOMOBILE BRANDS IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Customer experience, sensory experience, affective experience, intellectual experience, Customer Patronage, customer preference, repurchase intention
This study examined customer experience and Customer Patronage of automobile brands in Rivers State. The study aimed at investigating the relationship between customer experience (sensory, affective and intellectual experience) and Customer Patronage (customer preference and repurchase intention) of automobile brands in Rivers State. The study adopted the positivist research philosophy and cross-sectional survey research design. The population of this study consisted of users of three automobile car brands namely; Toyota, Mercedes and Lexus in Rivers State. The exact number of users of these three automobile car brands in Rivers State is unknown, hence the Cochran’s formula for determining the sample size of unknown population was applied. Using this formula, a sample size of 384 respondents was obtained. The 384 respondents were made up of users of Toyota, Mercedes and Lexus car brands in Rivers State. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents regarding their experience with the preferred car brands and how such experience relate to Customer Patronage of the brand. The data collected were analyzed statistically while the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) was used to test the hypotheses. The SPSS software program version 24.0 was used to aid the bivariate analysis. The findings revealed that sensory experience has a significant relationship with customer preference and repurchase intention of automobile brands. The study also revealed that affective experience has a significant relationship with customer preference and repurchase intention of automobile brands. The study equally reported that intellectual experience has a significant relationship with customer preference and repurchase intention of automobile brands. Based on these findings, it was concluded that customer experience is a significant predictor of Customer Patronage of automobile brands in Rivers State. The study therefore recommended that automobile manufacturers especially those that are experiencing high rate of customer defection should offer quality automobile vehicles that will give customers a pleasant and memorable experience as this would increase Customer Patronage of their brand.