ارتقاء دهان به دهان و تغییر رفتار در مشتریان خدمات بنگاه به بنگاه ژاپنی و آمریکایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23525||2004||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6185 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 57, Issue 3, March 2004, Pages 297–305
This comparative study examines whether customers in Japan and the US who use referrals to find business-to-business services (e.g., banking, advertising and insurance) are more likely to remain loyal to their service providers. The effects of national culture (Japanese or American) and relative location (foreign or domestic) are anticipated and explored. Regression analysis results indicate that companies who used referrals to source their service providers switched less than those who did not. Furthermore, companies operating in foreign environments (Japanese companies in the US and American firms in Japan) switched more than those operating in domestic environments. Other cross-cultural and international results are presented and discussed.
According to the Bass model (Mahajan et al., 1990), two kinds of communication dominate a buyer's decision: advertising and word of mouth (WOM). Of the two, the marketing literature has devoted much more attention to the former than the latter, perhaps because of the difficulty of studying the highly informal WOM process. However, evidence persists that WOM is an important means of finding and keeping customers (Duhan et al., 1997), especially for some professional services (Reingen and Kernan, 1986), where mass media advertising is either uncommon or ineffective. This study addresses the issue of switching of WOM-referred customers in the under-researched areas of business-to-business marketing and services, particularly in a cross-national context. Therefore, the research issues and questions of this paper are primarily twofold: First, how do differences in WOM referral behavior affect the switching behavior of industrial service customers who use referrals to find their service providers? For example, would a corporate banking or accounting client be less likely to switch if he/she found the bank or accountant through a referral source who is professionally or personally important to him/her? Second, do the results differ across international contexts, both by national culture and location? For example, will referral users remain more loyal in their home-country location than in a foreign market? Considering business-to-business customer switching is important because of the relatively higher importance of a single major account to a service provider's profitability (one large advertising client, for example) vis-a-vis a single retail-level customer. Furthermore, if the cost to replace an industrial service customer is high in a domestic setting, that cost increases dramatically given the distance and logistics of marketing in an overseas environment. Perhaps nowhere is this issue better addressed than in the so-called closed markets of Japan. The world's second largest economy, Japan, provides marketers with large, important revenue opportunities and gives academics a context replete with interesting structural and cultural contrasts with the US.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
For academics, the study adds the switching construct to the literature on WOM referral behavior, particularly in a commercial services marketing context. The study's social network perspective lends structure to the results to help interpret a process what can otherwise seem ambiguous and amorphous for analysis purposes. It also extends prior research on cultural differences in social network activity. The design allows interesting comparisons of WOM's effect on switching behavior across cultures and in foreign vs. domestic settings. For managers, the study first demonstrates that the WOM referral process in the US for Americans is nearly nonexistent compared with WOM activity in Japan, even among Americans there. In the study's data, only 10 purchases out of 100 by Americans in the US were made by use of a WOM referral. Although a larger study is needed to confirm this implication, US service marketers may indeed be able to get away with ignoring WOM in promoting their services. When a successful service provider in the US expands abroad, however, it ignores at its own peril the implications of WOM in finding and keeping new customers. Managers should not assume that a more direct selling approach becoming popular for commercial services in the US is going to work well in other parts of the world for finding loyal customers, specifically Japan. Blindly applying the same nonreferral promotion techniques when going abroad could very well meet with disaster, since the search and selection process probably functions differently. As one Japanese owner of a business in Japan said, “I do not know why some Americans do not like doing business here. I guess they just must acquire more of a smell or flavor for dealing with the Japanese.” An American Chamber of Commerce in Japan official said that “it takes at least three to five years to see if your business is going to succeed or fail in Japan.” After making huge investments, many American businesses ironically seem to go home long before they can harvest the fruits of their labor. For example, after only a few months after opening offices in Japan, Allstate Insurance announced plans to withdraw from the country, cutting 4000 sales and staff positions, citing a lack of sufficient client base growth (Business Week, 2000). Other than the notable exception of Americans in the US (who use relatively little WOM in the first place), customers who use referrals to find a service will likely stay more loyal than those who find the provider themselves. These results are particularly important in a highly collectivist culture such as Japan, which is still the world's second largest economy, despite recessionary setbacks. Even the most globally minded companies should learn to adapt some of their practices there (Johansson and Nonaka, 1996). Firms might consider promotion techniques that lend themselves well to referrals, such as incentives for a current customer to get a business acquaintance to use the same service provider, where appropriate (real estate brokerage, for example). In conclusion, the study has shed light on the implications of the WOM referral process on switching behavior loyalty in cross-national and cross-cultural contexts. It is important because “cracking” and succeeding in what may seem to be inaccessible commercial service markets may have less to do with trade politics and more to do with understanding how social networks influence getting and keeping customers.