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Customer‐service firm attachment: what it is and what causes it?

Customer‐service firm attachment: what it is and what causes it? Purpose – This article aims to: conceptualize customer‐service firm attachment; as well as to propose a theoretical framework that provides insights into the formation and development of affectionate ties in customer‐service firm relationships. Design/methodology/approach – Toward these two goals, the authors integrate conclusions from a multidisciplinary literature that covers attachment theory, brand attachment, and place attachment. Findings – The authors formally define customer‐service firm attachment as the emotional bond connecting a customer with a service firm. They offer a conceptual framework that assumes that customer satisfaction, service quality, customer trust towards the service firm and its personnel, customer‐firm image congruence, and positive emotions felt during the service experience are the main drivers of customer‐service firm attachment. Research limitations/implications – Notwithstanding the fact that this article remains conceptual in spirit, it provides several theoretical and managerial implications. Originality/value – This article reviews and merges the latest insights from diverse attachment theories and concepts in diverse disciplines (i.e. social psychology, environmental psychology, leisure science, consumer behavior, and marketing). It also presents attachment styles as a new consumer segmenting criteria. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Emerald Publishing

Customer‐service firm attachment: what it is and what causes it?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/IJQSS-01-2013-0002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This article aims to: conceptualize customer‐service firm attachment; as well as to propose a theoretical framework that provides insights into the formation and development of affectionate ties in customer‐service firm relationships. Design/methodology/approach – Toward these two goals, the authors integrate conclusions from a multidisciplinary literature that covers attachment theory, brand attachment, and place attachment. Findings – The authors formally define customer‐service firm attachment as the emotional bond connecting a customer with a service firm. They offer a conceptual framework that assumes that customer satisfaction, service quality, customer trust towards the service firm and its personnel, customer‐firm image congruence, and positive emotions felt during the service experience are the main drivers of customer‐service firm attachment. Research limitations/implications – Notwithstanding the fact that this article remains conceptual in spirit, it provides several theoretical and managerial implications. Originality/value – This article reviews and merges the latest insights from diverse attachment theories and concepts in diverse disciplines (i.e. social psychology, environmental psychology, leisure science, consumer behavior, and marketing). It also presents attachment styles as a new consumer segmenting criteria.

Journal

International Journal of Quality and Service SciencesEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 30, 2013

Keywords: Attachment; Customer; Service firm; Conceptualization; Drivers; Customers; Customer service management

References