Inter-customer Helping Behavior: A Virtuous Cycle or Unwanted Intrusion?
Seo Young Kim, Youjae Yi
Service Industries Journal
41: 9-10
The current research investigates a specific type of customer engagement behavior (CEB), inter-customer helping. Specifically, the current research investigates (1) the antecedents (e.g. how receiving voluntary vs. solicited help from other customers affects customer satisfaction), (2) the processes (e.g. affective and cognitive paths to customer satisfaction), (3) the outcomes (e.g. whether increased satisfaction leads to higher willingness to help others in need), and (4) the boundary condition (e.g. when receiving help would increase customer satisfaction) of inter-customer helping. The results from two studies demonstrate that receiving voluntary (vs. solicited) help increases customer satisfaction through positive interaction affect and enhanced perceived service climate. The results also show that increased customer satisfaction leads to increased willingness to help others. Finally, the results demonstrate that perceived importance of competence moderates the effect of receiving help on customer satisfaction. Overall, the current research contributes to the service literature through suggesting new links between CEB and customer satisfaction.