The almost customer: a missed opportunity to enhance corporate success

The almost customer: a missed opportunity to enhance corporate success Little attention has been paid to prospective customers who defect before buying. This paper examines the almost customer phenomenon. It reviews literature on service quality, customer satisfaction, retention, relationships, loyalty and defection. It also categorizes the causes of almost customer experiences into a series of themes. The almost customer phenomenon and its effects are presented in the context of implications for managers and for future research. The almost customer phenomenon may appear to be a study of early customer defection, but the almost customer defects before buying. The customer defection literature assumes that a firm has attracted customers. But, not every attempted transaction leads to a purchase. Sometimes, elements of the interaction have an impact on whether or not the individual buys. This paper examines defection before a customer becomes a customer. Reducing the incidence of almost customer episodes represents an opportunity for firms to optimize growth and profitability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Managing Service Quality Emerald Publishing

The almost customer: a missed opportunity to enhance corporate success

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0960-4529
DOI
10.1108/09604520410528563
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Little attention has been paid to prospective customers who defect before buying. This paper examines the almost customer phenomenon. It reviews literature on service quality, customer satisfaction, retention, relationships, loyalty and defection. It also categorizes the causes of almost customer experiences into a series of themes. The almost customer phenomenon and its effects are presented in the context of implications for managers and for future research. The almost customer phenomenon may appear to be a study of early customer defection, but the almost customer defects before buying. The customer defection literature assumes that a firm has attracted customers. But, not every attempted transaction leads to a purchase. Sometimes, elements of the interaction have an impact on whether or not the individual buys. This paper examines defection before a customer becomes a customer. Reducing the incidence of almost customer episodes represents an opportunity for firms to optimize growth and profitability.

Journal

Managing Service QualityEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 1, 2004

Keywords: Customer retention; Customer relations; Customer loyalty; Customer satisfaction; Service quality assurance

References

  • The zone of tolerance: exploring the relationship between service transactions and satisfaction with the overall service
    Johnston, R.

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