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Impact of online reviews of customer care experience on brand or company selection

Fahri Karakaya (Department of Marketing, Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA)
Nora Ganim Barnes (Department of Marketing, Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 3 August 2010

12194

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of customer care experiences voiced online on consumer choice of brand or company when purchasing products and services by including the level of usage of these sites, and consumer opinions about whether or not their comments would make a difference to the actions of companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework of word of mouth is extended to an online environment, electronic word of mouth (e‐WOM), when using consumer opinions about customer care, and a model is suggested using structural equation modeling utilizing data from 320 consumers in the USA.

Findings

Consumer opinions about customer care in socially‐based web sites impact consumer opinions and consumer engagement and consequently consumer choice of brand or company when making purchases. The web sites, including government/consumer advocacy information sites, company web sites, and information found through search engines, are not considered important in influencing consumers.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the study are that companies need to pay attention to the voices of customers on socially‐based web sites and respond appropriately in order to keep customers brand‐loyal. Since this was an exploratory study, it was limited in the number of variables used for testing the hypotheses. The study could be improved by increasing the number of variables that explain online consumer opinions, online engagement and consumer choice of brand or company.

Originality/value

This is an exploratory study focusing on the customer care experience rather than product quality or value provided by companies as discussed by consumers on a variety of web sites. Therefore, it extends the previous works on product quality and value.

Keywords

Citation

Karakaya, F. and Ganim Barnes, N. (2010), "Impact of online reviews of customer care experience on brand or company selection", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 447-457. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363761011063349

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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