Purpose – Customer engagement is a concept that has emerged recently to capture customers' total set of behavioral activities toward a firm. The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of customer engagement behaviors on perceived relationship benefits and relationship outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – An online survey of members of a gaming Facebook brand community, resulting in 276 usable responses from gaming customers. Findings – Customer engagement was divided into “Community Engagement Behaviors” (CEB) and “Transactional Engagement Behaviors” (TEB). In addition, three relationship benefits were identified: social benefits, entertainment benefits and economic benefits. The engagement behaviors largely influenced the benefits received. Furthermore, the mediation analysis results show that the influence of CEB on satisfaction is partially mediated by social benefits and entertainment benefits, while the effect of TEB on satisfaction is fully mediated through the same benefits. The effect of CEB on loyalty is mediated through entertainment benefits. Research limitations/implications – The findings are limited to one brand community. The findings have implications for further research on customer engagement. Practical implications – The paper's findings give ideas about how firms can utilize Facebook communities to enhance satisfaction and loyalty by offering the right kinds of relationship benefits. Managers are encouraged to study customer engagement behaviors on, and perceptions of, all channels and to utilize this information for the development of their social media strategies. Originality/value – Customer engagement is a newly introduced concept on which scarce empirical research exists, and there is very little evidence of its effect on customer relationships. This is the first paper to study customer engagement empirically on a Facebook brand community, and to relate customer engagement to relationship constructs.
Management Research Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 3, 2012
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Social media; Social networking sites; Brands; Communities; Brand community; Facebook; Customer engagement; Relationship benefits; Customer loyalty; Customer satisfaction
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