How firms can create delightful customer experience? Contrasting roles of future reward uncertainty

Lili Wenli Zou*, Chi Kin Bennett Yim, Wa Kimmy Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The recent emergence of customer experience management has sparked renewed interest in customer delight. Building upon social comparison theory and the uncertainty literature, this research examines a dual-path model (surprise and exclusivity) for creating delightful customer experience through bolstering self-enhancement and a contrasting moderating effect of future reward uncertainty in reward programs. We posit that a surprise (vs. exclusive) reward has a positive effect on customer delight through self-enhancement, but only when perceived uncertainty of receiving a similar reward in the future is high (vs. low). We verify our predictions with data from a laboratory experiment and a field survey, supplemented with multiple waves of customers’ actual behavioral loyalty data and confirm the impacts of customer delight on attitudinal (repeat and WOM intentions) and behavioral (both short- and long-term) loyalty. Our findings offer companies actionable managerial guidelines for building customer loyalty through creating delightful customer experience.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)477-490
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Customer delight
    • Customer experience
    • Future reward uncertainty
    • Self-enhancement
    • Surprise and exclusivity


    Dive into the research topics of 'How firms can create delightful customer experience? Contrasting roles of future reward uncertainty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this