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The effect of inconsistent word‐of‐mouth during the service encounter

The effect of inconsistent word‐of‐mouth during the service encounter Purpose – This study aims to investigate the effects of inconsistent word‐of‐mouth on service quality perception and purchase intention during the service encounter. Design/methodology/approach – A pilot study and a subsequent formal experiment with six scenarios were designed to test the inconsistent word‐of‐mouth effect. Participants were recruited from a major university located in Southern China. Findings – The results revealed that service quality perception and purchase intention were influenced more by the final word‐of‐mouth event than by the initial one and were more favorable with more positive word‐of‐mouth events. Research limitations/implications – Further research should study more factors such as source effect of word‐of‐mouth and knowledge about the service in investigating the inconsistent word‐of‐mouth effect on service quality perception and purchase intention. Practical implications – Consumers' service quality judgment and purchase intention seem to be highly driven by the most recent word‐of‐mouth activities. Thus, to stimulate consumption levels, companies can use creative and innovative promotion tools for consumers to talk about their service and elicit consumers' purchase interest. Other tools such as involving consumers in delivering the service and developing referral incentive schemes are also beneficial to establish positive word‐of‐mouth. Originality/value – This paper adds value to the word‐of‐mouth literature by studying the inconsistent word‐of‐mouth effect on consumers' perceptions of service quality and purchase intention towards the service, which lacks strong conceptual and empirical evidence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Services Marketing Emerald Publishing

The effect of inconsistent word‐of‐mouth during the service encounter

Journal of Services Marketing , Volume 25 (4): 8 – Jul 5, 2011

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References (41)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0887-6045
DOI
10.1108/08876041111143087
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to investigate the effects of inconsistent word‐of‐mouth on service quality perception and purchase intention during the service encounter. Design/methodology/approach – A pilot study and a subsequent formal experiment with six scenarios were designed to test the inconsistent word‐of‐mouth effect. Participants were recruited from a major university located in Southern China. Findings – The results revealed that service quality perception and purchase intention were influenced more by the final word‐of‐mouth event than by the initial one and were more favorable with more positive word‐of‐mouth events. Research limitations/implications – Further research should study more factors such as source effect of word‐of‐mouth and knowledge about the service in investigating the inconsistent word‐of‐mouth effect on service quality perception and purchase intention. Practical implications – Consumers' service quality judgment and purchase intention seem to be highly driven by the most recent word‐of‐mouth activities. Thus, to stimulate consumption levels, companies can use creative and innovative promotion tools for consumers to talk about their service and elicit consumers' purchase interest. Other tools such as involving consumers in delivering the service and developing referral incentive schemes are also beneficial to establish positive word‐of‐mouth. Originality/value – This paper adds value to the word‐of‐mouth literature by studying the inconsistent word‐of‐mouth effect on consumers' perceptions of service quality and purchase intention towards the service, which lacks strong conceptual and empirical evidence.

Journal

Journal of Services MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 5, 2011

Keywords: Services; Word of mouth; Inconsistency; Service quality; Purchase intention; Customer services quality; Perception; Consumer behaviour; China

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