Acta Non Verba? The Role of Customer Participation and Word of Mouth in the Relationship Between Service Firms' Customer Satisfaction and Sales Performance

Andreas B. Eisingerich, Seigyoung Auh, Omar Merlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence has shown that satisfied customers do not necessarily buy more of a company's products and services, thus spurring researchers to look for a missing link between customer satisfaction and purchase behavior. Word of mouth (WOM) has been advocated as the elusive missing link and as a key indicator of customer-firm relationship strength. Yet, WOM is only one type of customer voluntary performance (CVP). In this study, a second type of CVP, namely customer participation (i.e., customers' willingness to provide the firm with constructive feedback and suggestions), is argued to be crucial to ensure that a satisfied customer repurchases. The authors develop and test a model that predicts that satisfied customers repurchase when they become productive resources through two spontaneous and cooperative customer behaviors: WOM and participation. The empirical findings support the predictions, thus complementing and extending previous research. This research suggests that while WOM has been heralded as an important factor in firm growth, another factor that is at least equally if not more important to future sales is customer participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-53
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Service Research
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

Keywords

  • customer participation
  • customer satisfaction
  • customer voluntary performance
  • firm sales
  • relationship marketing
  • word of mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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