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Social media–based customer service and firm reputation

Yujuan Guo (School of Management, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Di Fan (Research School of Management, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
Xiao Zhang (Faculty of Humanities and Arts, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, China)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 6 May 2020

Issue publication date: 19 September 2020

3097

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the effects of using social media for customer service on firms' reputation building. In addition, this study explores the role of absorptive capacity, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9,000 implementation and periodic training for management and employees in the relationship between social media–based customer service and firm reputation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study sampled 115 US-listed firms and collected secondary data from five databases as follows: Factiva, Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies (WMAC), Standard & Poor's COMPUSTAT, American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and Thomson Reuters’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). This study developed a panel dataset of these 115 firms from 2007 to 2016 and conducted dynamic panel data analyses to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

This study finds that a higher number of social media channels used for customer service is associated with a higher reputation score for a firm. In addition, the positive relationship is reinforced when a firm has a high absorptive capacity level, an ISO 9000 quality management system and offers periodic training for management and employees.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the relationship between social media–based customer service and firm reputation. This study also explores the boundary factors in terms of firm absorptive capacity, ISO 9000 quality management systems and training for management and employees.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the guest editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. The first author acknowledges support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (#71872053 and #71902041).

Citation

Guo, Y., Fan, D. and Zhang, X. (2020), "Social media–based customer service and firm reputation", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 575-601. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-04-2019-0315

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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