While research on customer gratitude is gaining momentum, there is an absence of a clear conceptualization and operationalization of the construct. This paper aims to provide a grounded theory definition of customer gratitude, develops and validates a gratitude scale to fully capture the comprehensive definition and assesses the scale in a nomological network with antecedents and consequences.
This qualitative study and four quantitative studies examine customer gratitude within service encounters.
Results from all five studies support a three-dimensional definition of customer gratitude that includes affective, behavioral and cognitive dimensions. The quantitative findings show that the three-dimensional gratitude scale offers strong predictive ability of loyalty and relationship continuity and that gratitude maintains its effect on these relational outcomes after assessing other mediating mechanisms (e.g. value).
This research offers an expanded conceptual definition and scale of customer gratitude that conforms to theory and the extant literature. The scale maintains construct validity which is supported in a nomological context of theoretically based antecedents and consequences.
This work advances the emerging gratitude literature by clearly delineating the construct’s domain, measurement and impact on relational outcomes.
The authors thank Robert Palmatier and Richard Netemeyer for their valuable feedback on this paper.
Bock, D., Folse, J. and Black, W. (2016), "Gratitude in service encounters: implications for building loyalty", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 341-358. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-06-2015-0223Download as .RIS
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