The purpose of this paper is to examine the antecedents of word-of-mouth (WOM) in long-term service settings. Specifically, the authors examine the moderating role of action inertia in the relationships between satisfaction and repatronage intention, satisfaction and WOM, and repatronage intention and WOM.
The proposed model was empirically tested using survey data from 1,385 telecommunications service subscribers. The data were analyzed using partial least squares path modeling.
Results suggest that a positive link between repatronage intention and WOM, hereto a neglected relationship in the marketing literature, in contrast to previous literature, the behaviors of long-term customers are not predictable, and action inertia strengthens satisfaction – WOM and repatronage intention – WOM links and weakens satisfaction – repatronage intention link.
This study examines customers of a utilitarian service. To further determine the potential of the model, it is desirable to explore the validity of the model in other service settings, particularly those with high hedonic values.
The study provides valuable insights into repatronage intention – WOM link, with particular emphasis on the measurement and analysis of action inertia. This is important in understanding and evaluating inertia influences and identification of the drivers of WOM. These insights can be used by managers to better allocate their resources when investing in customer loyalty-building exercises and in generating WOM.
This paper contributes to the literature in three main ways. First, it examines the nuances of customer loyalty in continuous service contexts. Second, the study empirically tests the role of repatronage intention as an antecedent of WOM. Third, the study introduces and tests the moderating role of action inertia on positive WOM.
Leppäniemi, M., Jayawardhena, C., Karjaluoto, H. and Harness, D. (2017), "Unlocking behaviors of long-term service consumers: the role of action inertia", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 270-291. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-06-2015-0127Download as .RIS
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