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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Wolfgang J. Weitzl

This paper aims to demonstrate that online complainants’ reactions to a company’s service recovery attempts (webcare) can significantly vary across two different types of…

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1720

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate that online complainants’ reactions to a company’s service recovery attempts (webcare) can significantly vary across two different types of dissatisfied customers (“vindictives” vs “constructives”), who have dramatically diverging complaint goal orientations.

Design/methodology/approach

Online multi-country survey among 812 adult consumers who recently had a dissatisfying brand experience and turned to a marketer-generated social media site to voice an online complaint for achieving their ultimate complaining goals. Scenario-based online experiment for cross-validating the survey findings.

Findings

Results suggest that “vindictive complainants” – driven dominantly by brand-adverse motives – are immune to any form of webcare, while “constructive complainants” – interested in restoring the customer-brand relationship – react more sensitively. For the latter, “no-responses” often trigger detrimental brand-related reactions (e.g. unfavorable brand image), whereas “defensive responses” are likely to stimulate post-webcare negative word-of-mouth.

Research limitations/implications

This research identifies the gains and harms of (un-)desired webcare. By doing so, it not only sheds light on the circumstances when marketers have to fear negative effects (e.g. negative word-of-mouth) but also provides insights into the conditions when such effects are unlikely. While the findings of the cross-sectional survey are validated with an online experiment, findings should be interpreted with care as other complaining contexts should be further investigated.

Practical implications

Marketers have to expect a serious “backfiring effect” from an unexpected source, namely, consumers who were initially benevolent toward the involved brand but who received an inappropriate response.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first research studies that enables marketers to identify situations when webcare is likely to backfire on the brand after a service failure.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Jens Seiffert-Brockmann, Wolfgang Weitzl and Magdalena Henriks

The purpose of this paper is to research the role of stakeholder motivation in the context of gamification. The authors suggest, that a player’s motivation, is a key…

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1544

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to research the role of stakeholder motivation in the context of gamification. The authors suggest, that a player’s motivation, is a key determinant of psychological engagement and subsequently, behavioral engagement. To examine stakeholder engagement through gamification, the authors propose a research model that links gamer types, i.e. a gamer’s motivation, with engagement and potential effects beyond the gamified content.

Design/methodology/approach

Online survey with 90 active users of a gamified application, followed by a multiple regression analysis.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that a gamer’s typology, i.e. her underlying motivation, positively influences psychological stakeholder engagement toward gamified content and indirectly behavioral stakeholder engagement toward the communication instrument (i.e. the app) itself. The findings suggest that particularly gamified content that targets a person’s need toward achievement is a key driver of behavioral engagement toward an application. Thus, gamer types seem to be a good predictor for engagement on the part of stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides first empirical evidence about the effectiveness of gamification of mobile service apps and the critical role of stakeholder engagement. However, several limitations have to be noted: first, the study was conducted with only a single mobile app which targets only a specific audience and which only conveys specific types of gamified content. Second, given the small sample size and sampling approach the findings should be interpreted with care in respect to its reliability, validity and robustness. Third, as only a fraction of the variance of behavioral engagement was explained by the research, future studies should investigate additional variables that drive app usage (e.g. perceived informational value).

Practical implications

When talking about the role of dialogue in the process of establishing good and lasting relations between an organization and its stakeholders, the non-rational (e.g. emotions) forces of engagement are often disregarded. The human drive to play can be a powerful door opener in that process. The paper suggests that engaging in stakeholder relations through gamification might be as effective as the standard way of dialogue and two-way-symmetrical communication. Especially potential stakeholders who lack the interest and motivation for information seeking, can be attracted to the organization in such a manner.

Social implications

Many studies that focus on engagement in the digital realm look to Twitter, Facebook, etc. in order to study company-stakeholder relationships. Thereby, the importance of many other digital media, especially games, is neglected. However, within gamified apps, small social networks form, which are driven by other forces (such as play), than in the aforementioned.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to research in the area of stakeholder engagement in the following way: even though engagement is widely believed to play a vital role in the process of building stakeholder relationships, research in the field of PR focuses mainly on the behavioral aspect of engagement. The results suggest to pay more attention to psychological antecedents in order to understand what drives engagement.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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