Strengthening Customer Loyalty through Intimacy and Passion: Roles of Customer-Firm Affection and Customer-Staff Relations in Services

Chi Kin Bennett Yim, David K. Tse, Wa Kimmy Chan

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    399 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study extends the existing satisfaction–trust–loyalty paradigm to investigate how customers’ affectionate ties with firms (customer–firm affection)—in particular, the components of intimacy and passion—affect customer loyalty in services. In a bilevel model, the authors consider customer–staff and customer–firm interactions in parallel. Through a netnography study and survey research in two service contexts, they confirm (1) the salience of intimacy and passion as two underrecognized components of customer–firm affection that influence customer loyalty, (2) the complementary and mediating role of customer–firm affection in strengthening customer loyalty, (3) significant affect transfers from the customer–staff to the customer–firm level, and (4) the dilemma that emerges when customer–staff relationships are too close. The findings provide several implications for researchers and managers regarding how intimacy and passion can enrich customer service interactions and how to manage customer–staff relationships properly.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)741-756
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Marketing Research
    Volume45
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

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