Customer Satisfaction and Scuba-diving: Some Insights from the Deep

Document Type

Journal Article


Taylor & Francis


Business and Law


Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




Originally published as: Maccarthy, M., O'neill, M., & Williams, P. (2006). Customer satisfaction and scuba-diving: some insights from the deep. The Service Industries Journal, 26(5), 537-555. Original available here


This paper explores the concept of customer satisfaction in relation to the scuba-diving consumption experience. It investigates the myriad of tangible and intangible elements of the experience, from which scuba-divers derive a sense of meaning and/or satisfaction. The results indicate that satisfaction is gained from a complex array of consumers' perceptions of the dive itself, but also from a range of associated peripheral experiences surrounding the dive such as the service provided by the operator, the ‘communitas’ from the social interaction with other divers and the functional aspects of the dive. The study takes an ethnographic approach using qualitative methods of inquiry, since the purpose of the study was to develop a deeper understanding of the inter-relationships between the levels of service provided; customer satisfaction of scuba-divers; and the dive consumption experience. The findings illuminate the diversity and complexity of dive consumption experiences themselves and the perceptual cues used by customers for determining customer satisfaction and longer term behavioural intentions.


Link to publisher version (DOI)