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Understanding relationships among customer experience, engagement, and word-of-mouth intention on online brand communities: The perspective of service ecosystem

Mingli Zhang (School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China)
Mu Hu (School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China)
Lingyun Guo (School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China)
Wenhua Liu (School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Thriving brand communities are inseparable from engaged members and their word-of-mouth behavior. The purpose of this paper is to investigate which customer experience elevates customer engagement and consequent word-of-mouth intention in online brand communities, and how.

Design/methodology/approach

From the perspective of service ecosystem theory, a framework with several hypotheses was proposed. The model was verified with structural equation modeling based on questionnaire data collected from smartphone communities in China.

Findings

Empirical results indicate that customer experience promotes community engagement, and further enhances word-of-mouth intention. Furthermore, the mediating effect of community engagement in the relation between customer experience (social support and flow) and word-of-mouth intention has been verified.

Practical implications

This paper informs practitioners about the importance of experience co-creation with community members in brand and community promotion, and provides several implications to encourage more engaged customers with fostering pleasant customer experiences.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the theory of service ecosystem by empirical examination of its several propositions in a brand community context. The paper extends the present theory with the discussion of the mediation effect of community engagement in the continuing value co-creation process.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71272018), and the useful suggestions by the editor and reviewers.

Citation

Zhang, M., Hu, M., Guo, L. and Liu, W. (2017), "Understanding relationships among customer experience, engagement, and word-of-mouth intention on online brand communities: The perspective of service ecosystem", Internet Research, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 839-857. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-06-2016-0148

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited