How customer voice contributes to stronger service provider relationships

Russell Lacey (University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Publication date: 20 April 2012



The author aims to examine how customer voice contributes to service provider relationships as a relationship driver by assessing its linkages to distinct relationship outcomes.


Structural equation modeling is used to test the study's hypotheses with US customer survey data from two independent samples: a luxury specialty retailer (n=2,586) and a casual dining restaurant (n=634). Both participating service firms use loyalty programs whose members are included in this study.


Customer voice is shown to positively and directly relate to customers' willingness to increase the volume and share of their purchases, impart positive word of mouth, and participate in a variety of marketing research initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

The multi‐contextually supported results are based on distinct customer groups with varying ties to the service provider.

Practical implications

As service providers are able to favorably influence customer voice, they also stand to improve their marketing performance.


This study provides a theoretically richer and broader view of customer voice as a driver of strengthened service provider relationships. The findings demonstrate how customer voice does more than protect against customer defection by also contributing to customer relationship building.



Lacey, R. (2012), "How customer voice contributes to stronger service provider relationships", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 137-144.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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