Consumer Relationship Fading
|Speaker:||Heiner Evanschitzky, Aston Business School|
|Date:||Tuesday 14 October 2014|
|Location:||Streatham Court C|
The consumer behavior literature in general, the service recovery literature in particular, acknowledge the importance of retaining consumers and offer advice on how to deal with them after negative incidents. However, current empirical findings across a wide range of contexts and industries show that defection rates are considerably higher than failure rates. This mismatch suggests that consumer relationships with firms or brands, similar to strong interpersonal relationships, gradually fade, even without clearly identifiable incidents. Our research assesses therefore what happens before consumers actually switch, a phase termed relationship fading. Based on qualitative data, we offer a definition of relationship fading, discuss its stages, and identify consumers’ feelings and thoughts when passing through these stages as well as identifying the drivers of fading in each stage. We further identify conditions that make fading more (less) likely. Finally, using data from a panel study, we estimate observe relationship fading in real-time.