Verleye, Katrien; Gemmel, Paul; Rangarajan, Deva (2014)
Firms striving for long-term profitability need to build stronger customer-firm relationships by getting their customers more engaged with the firm. One path to this end is introducing practices to manage different forms of customer engagement behaviors (CEBs). To develop more effective and efficient CEB management practices, this research proposes and empirically tests a theoretical model on managerial and psychological processes to encourage CEBs that are embedded in a broader network of customers and stakeholders. Based on qualitative and quantitative studies in nursing homes, we demonstrate that organizational support and overall service quality toward significant others influence some forms of CEBs—more particularly feedback and positive word of mouth (WOM) behaviors—through customer affect toward the organization. It is interesting to note that customer affect toward the organization encourages WOM behaviors, while it discourages feedback behaviors. Conversely, managerial processes that increase customer role readiness—such as organizational socialization and support from other customers—were found to have a positive impact on all forms of CEBs. This research helps managers of nursing homes and other services with a broad network of customers and stakeholders to improve existing CEB management practices and develop new CEB management practices that are beneficial for the firm and its stakeholders.
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