Understanding Consumer Recommendation Behavior

Understanding Consumer Recommendation Behavior

Wen-Kuo Chen (Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan), Heng-Chiang Huang (National Taiwan University, Taiwan) and Seng-Cho T. Chou (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-074-5.ch021
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Research shows that the use of mobile phone services is surprisingly low because users would not like to pay money without first using services. We consider that a customer is not only a service user, but also the partner of a firm. Therefore, this chapter investigates how the users recommend mobile phone services to other potential customers based on their experiences. We focus on two determinants of customer recommendation behavior, namely, overall satisfaction and flow experience. We also propose a number of hypotheses related to the constructs of overall satisfaction, and test them using data provided by 3G mobile service subscribers. The results contribute to our understanding of how customers are willing to make recommendations to others. Besides increasing customer satisfaction, we should consider a mediating factor—users’ flow experiences. Our findings provide empirical support for most of the hypotheses. The theoretical and practical implications of our findings are also discussed, and suggestions for further research are offered.
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Conceptual Framework and Research Hypotheses

The model (see Figure 1) then illustrates a series of relationships that we propose to explain what kind of determinants influence consumers to recommend mobile phone services to others.

Figure 1.

Theoretical Model. (*Significant p<0.05; ** Significant p<0.01. Sample results are shown in lines. The dotted ellipses are second-order factors)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Utilitarian Value: Utilitarian value is defined as that value that a customer receives based on a task-related and rational consumption behavior (Babin et al. 1994).

Third Generation (3G) services: Third generation (3G) services is defined as the services on the third generation of developments in wireless technology.

Interactivity: Interactivity is the degree to which mobile phone service users have control over items such as video phone, media, objects, and other similar items.

Hedonic Value: Hedonic value is defined as that value a customer receives based on the subject experience of fun and playfulness (Babin et al. 1994).

Flow experience: Csikszentmihalyi (1975, p. 36) defines flow as “holistic sensation that people feel when they act with total involvement.”

Customer Recommendations: Customer recommendations are defined as the action that occurs when customers voluntarily recommend their experiences with mobile phone services to their relatives and friends.

Perceived Quality: An information system process perspective from DeLone and McLean (1992, 2003) and Pitt et al. (1995), suggests that a successful system must have high levels of system quality, information quality, and service quality.

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