اثر خدمات مشتری بر سود سهامداران خرده فروشان ': نقش دسترسی و نشانه های اعتبار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21040||2007||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing, Volume 83, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 19–31
Retailer customer service has been shown to lead to increases in consumer attraction and retention, but what is less apparent is whether shareholders are fully rewarded for retailers’ customer service efforts. Results from an event study on 48 retailer announcements of customer service strategies indicate that customer service increases retailer market values by 1.09 percent on average. The magnitude of this abnormal return suggests that customer service is one of the more effective ways for firms to create shareholder wealth. Further, analysis of the abnormal returns suggests that the shareholder value created by the retailer's customer service is affected by the heuristics and cues used to judge the likelihood of service delivery. Consistent with the availability heuristic, we find that services that are difficult to bring to mind and non-vivid services create significantly less shareholder value. Results further show that the retailer's reputation can also significantly inhibit the customer service's shareholder wealth creation.
Considerable scholarly attention has been directed at understanding the financial rewards that result from retailers’ competitive strategies. Research has examined the benefits due to retailers’ merchandising (e.g., Chen et al. 1999), category management (e.g., Basuroy et al. 2001), and promotional strategies (e.g., Walters 1988). Another rewarding strategy for retailers is to compete through service (e.g., Berry 1986). Prior research has shown that retailer customer service enhances customer satisfaction, increasing purchase intentions, word-of-mouth recommendations, and share-of-wallet (e.g., Reynolds and Beatty, 1999 and Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002). And retailer customer service has also been found to have a positive effect on store traffic and revenues (e.g., Gomez et al. 2004). These findings suggest that customer service leads to increases in retailers’ cash flows, but evidence for this association remains elusive (Homburg et al., 2002 and Judd and Vaught, 1988). Our first objective therefore is to examine the extent to which retailer customer service is associated with increases in retailer cash flows and shareholder value. Results from an event study are expected to document positive movements in retailers’ stock prices in response to retailers’ customer service strategies, indicating that investors associate retailer customer service with the creation of retailer shareholder wealth. Investors are often assumed to be rational decision makers with high computational abilities who appropriately evaluate all relevant information (Colisk 1996). In reality, however, due to cognitive constraints and deliberation costs, investors often evaluate information using cues and heuristics (Stracca 2004) and the use of heuristics can lead to biases in investor decision-making (e.g., De Bondt and Thaler, 1985 and Tversky and Kahneman, 1973). Thus, there may be anomalies in how investors evaluate retailers’ service, and some retailers may not be fully rewarded for their customer service efforts. How heuristics might affect service evaluation, however, has received scant attention in the prior literature. This omission is surprising because service delivery is uncertain (Parasuraman et al. 1985) and substantial psychological evidence indicates that individuals use heuristics to judge the likelihood of uncertain future events (e.g., Hoch, 1984 and Kahneman and Tversky, 1982). Our second objective therefore is to examine how heuristics moderate the effect of customer service on retailers’ shareholder wealth. The paper is organized as follows. We briefly review the literature on retail customer service and its consequences, using the service–profit chain to explicate the relationship between customer service and shareholder value. Applying extant psychological research on the availability heuristic (Tversky and Kahneman 1973) and research on firm reputation and its impact on information processing (Purohit and Srivastava 2001) to investors’ perceptions regarding the likelihood of service delivery, we predict that investors’ reaction to a retailer's customer service will be affected by (1) the service's availability and (2) the retailer's reputation. We validate these predictions through an event study and cross-sectional analysis of the abnormal returns. We conclude the paper with a discussion of the limitations of this research and the managerial and scholarly implications of our findings.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research is the first to definitively link customer service strategies to retailer market value. The magnitude of the shareholder value creation from the retailer's service is affected by the reputation and availability heuristics that investors use to judge the likelihood of service delivery. Executive summary Retailer customer service has been shown to lead to increases in consumer attraction and retention, but what is less apparent is whether shareholders are fully rewarded for retailers’ customer service efforts. Therefore, our first goal is to examine the extent to which investors associate retailer customer service with increases in retailer cash flows and shareholder value. Further, because investors often use heuristics in their decision making, our second goal is to examine how heuristics moderate the effect of customer service on retailers’ shareholder wealth. For firms, understanding the role of heuristics in investors’ (and consumers’) evaluation of firm service offers new insights for maximizing the value of their customer service strategies. Our conceptual framework follows the service–profit chain, suggesting that customer service leads to increases in retailer cash flows and shareholder value. Because the delivery of service is uncertain, however, we suggest that the service's shareholder wealth creation is affected by the perceived likelihood of service delivery. We contend that when investors are not certain that the service will be delivered, investors react less positively to retailer service, attenuating the service's effect on retailers’ shareholder wealth. We suggest that investors judge the likelihood of service delivery through brand and availability heuristics. According to the availability heuristic, outcomes, and events which come readily to mind (i.e., available events) are judged likely, and ones which are difficult to bring to mind are unlikely. Thus, when the customer service springs readily to the investor's mind, the service's perceived likelihood is high and the firm's promises are credible, and investor reaction to the retailer's service is positive. In the paper, we explore how the service's availability is impacted by the service's imaginability (i.e., the ease with which the service can be brought to mind), the service's vividness (i.e., its clarity), and the service's affect (i.e., its desirability). Further, since the firm's reputation is a credible and diagnostic cue for firm performance, we also propose the service's perceived likelihood is high when the retailer has a strong reputation. We found 48 announcements of retailer customer service strategies, indicated by advertising campaigns emphasizing customer service. Using an event study, we documented a significant abnormal return of 1.09 percent, on average, to the announcement of a retailer's customer service strategy. This abnormal return is higher than many others documented in the marketing literature, suggesting that service is one of the more valuable strategic marketing actions available to the firm. Campaigns which emphasized the retailer's prices, merchandise breadth, or merchandise quality were found to be associated with negative abnormal returns, suggesting that retailers are punished when their advertising campaigns emphasize factors other than customer service. The role of the availability and reputation cues was tested through a cross-sectional analysis of the abnormal returns. Coders identified seven types of retailer customer service in the announcements: providing information, providing solutions, passionate customer service, empathic customer service, friendly customer service, shopping ease, and a general promise to take care of customers. Experiments were then used to capture proxies for the imaginability, vividness, and affect of each of these seven customer service types. Results indicated that aspects related to the perceived likelihood of service delivery explain significant variance in the abnormal returns. Retailer customer service which is easy to bring to mind and vivid customer service were found to generate greater shareholder value. We also found that the shareholder wealth from the retailer's customer service is positively related to the firm's reputation. For firms, our results suggest that investors (and consumers) only reward retailers for their customer service efforts when they can be confident that the service will be delivered. Thus, retailer promises of customer service which are vivid and easy-to-imagine (e.g., friendly service or a convenient shopping experience) create shareholder value. Promises involving difficult-to-imagine customer services (e.g., passionate service) are less credible, limiting the creation of shareholder value. Firms may want to reconsider difficult-to-imagine customer service activities due to the inherent consumer and investor skepticism of these claims. If firms highlight a difficult-to-imagine service, they should provide additional cues about their ability to provide the service, such as customer or employee testimonials or service performance guarantees. Further, firms should also consider the implications of the availability heuristic on service quality and customer satisfaction models based on the comparison of expectations to perceptions. Our results suggest that when a service is easy-to-imagine, expectations should be high, and consumers should be upset when delivery falls short. When a service is difficult-to-imagine, however, consumers may attenuate their negative reactions to service failure because successful service delivery was not certain.