Does Satisfaction Matter More If a Multichannel Customer is Also a Multicompany Customer?
Journal of Service Management, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 39-66
51 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2010 Last revised: 19 Nov 2012
Date Written: April 7, 2010
Purpose - Although the influence of using multiple channels on customer behavior has been investigated, most of this research has focused on channel behavior within a single company. Customers however frequently have access to multiple providers amongst which they can choose to allocate their spending in a category. Prior research therefore has neglected to understand what happens when a multichannel customer also chooses to conduct business with multiple companies and their channels. This research investigates the moderating influence of both multichannel and multicompany usage on the impact that customer satisfaction has on share of wallet (SOW). This study therefore broadens our understanding of multichannel behavior by comparing single (offline) and multiple channels (offline and online) for customers of multiple companies (two competitors).
Design/methodology/approach - The data used in the analyses was collected as part of both survey and transactional data of 802 households of a large financial services provider. Within class regression models were employed to test the moderating effects of different segments that were identified based on multichannel-multicompany customer differences.
Findings - The findings confirm that using multiple channels has an overall positive moderating impact on the satisfaction - SOW link and that customer satisfaction matters more when the customer adopts multiple channels; online channel usage in addition to offline usage. Furthermore, this effect is even more pronounced for customers that transact with multiple providers. That is, the group of customers that use both the company’s and competitors’ offline and online channels reveal a higher satisfaction - SOW association than the group of customers that only adopted the offline channel with the company and competitor.
Research limitations/implications - The limitation is that this research examines a single industry. The results however clearly show the need for future research to account for both multichannel and multicompany differences to fully understand the effect of customer satisfaction on share of wallet.
Originality/value - There are two major differences of the paper compared to what has already been done in the literature: (1) It examines the impact of both multichannel and multicompany usage, which has never been investigated before; (2) It examines the moderating impact of these variables on the satisfaction - behavior link/relationship as opposed to the direct (main) effect on satisfaction or behavior separately or in isolation. This research also provides important managerial guidance on the need to capture customers’ multicompany preferences and how to more efficiently allocate budgets in creating satisfaction with the goal of ensuring higher share of spending by taking on a more targeted approach.
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