Although the importance of customer orientation has been well addressed in strategic marketing, these ideas generally focus on managing business-to-customer interactions. Strategic importance of understanding customer-to-customer interactions (CCIs) has received very little attention. Word of mouth (WOM) research has recently been broadened in the context of CCI. Research that addresses during-the-experience word of mouth (WOMde) in the actual service setting is scant. Thus, we empirically distinguish WOMde and post-consumption experience (WOMpe) and investigate their interconnected relationships within a nomological network. We use a mixed-methods approach to generate and code a collection of WOMde events and a survey to capture further variables of interest including WOMpe. Our exploratory study demonstrates that WOMde has a positive impact both on customers’ emotional reaction in the service context and on brand perceptions. Subsequently, the magnified brand perceptions act as a significant driver of customer trust and WOMpe. We also distinguish between brand-related and brand-unrelated WOMde and offer insight into the effect of both types of conversation on customer perceptions and attitudes.
- Customer-to-customer interactions
- Brand strategy
- S-D logic