How much effort is enough? Unlocking customer fanaticism in services industries

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Quach, Sara
Hewege, Chandana Rathnasiri
Thaichon, Park
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2019
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the antecedents of fanaticism through the lens of attribution theory and “norm of reciprocity”. It is proposed that consumers will reward firms with high perceived effort, including both general and specific effort by increasing their loyalty and becoming a fan of the company. Design/methodology/approach: The data are collected in a high-tech services industry, mobile phone services. A paper-based survey using mall intercept technique was employed in this study. The sampling design was a combination of convenience sampling (any adult who happened to be at a given location on a given day and time) and system probability sampling (every fifth adult who passed the data collection point was approached and asked to participate in the study). The final sample size is 600. Findings: The antecedents of fanaticism are identified as both firm’s general effort (i.e. service quality and innovativeness) and specific effort (i.e. perceived reciprocity). In addition, perceived regulatory control moderated the relationship between innovativeness, part of firm’s general effort and customer fanaticism. To be more specific, perceived regulatory control increased the effect of perceived innovativeness on fanatical loyalty. Originality/value: The introduction of the role of perceived regulatory control in the interactions between firms and customers has not been adopted in previous research and can contribute a new body of knowledge to the current literature. This research has implications for service providers, especially in high-tech industries.

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Marketing Intelligence & Planning
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37
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3
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Marketing
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