From customer readiness to customer retention: the mediating role of customer psychological and behavioral engagement
Purpose: Customer engagement (CE) literature features divergent definitions and conceptualizations. To clarify its meaning, antecedents and outcomes, this paper aims to propose that psychological customer engagement (PCE) is the mechanism by which customers’ readiness to engage influences behavioral customer engagement (BCE) in the form of in-role and extra-role behaviors, which then affect customers’ goal attainment, satisfaction and retention. Design/methodology/approach: Set in the fitness center industry, this study combines perceptual data (from customers) and behavioral data (from the fitness center) to reveal a hierarchy of effects: customer readiness to PCE to BCE to customer goal attainment, satisfaction and retention. Findings: Customer readiness variables (role clarity, ability, motivation) influence in-role and extra-role BCE directly and indirectly through PCE. Extra-role BCE is associated with goal attainment and satisfaction, and the latter is linked to customer retention. In-role BCE is associated with goal attainment only. Research limitations/implications: The proposed integrative model bridges the psychological–behavioral divide in CE literature and encourages the adoption of a broader nomological network that accounts for the effects of customers’ characteristics and actions on their goal attainment, satisfaction and retention. Practical implications: Managers can enhance CE by improving customer role clarity, ability and motivation. Relative to in-role BCE, extra-role BCE appears more critical because it affects both goal attainment and satisfaction directly and retention indirectly. Originality/value: The novel integrative approach, combining BCE and PCE in a single model, also provides a consumer-oriented view on CE, which establishes a more comprehensive perspective, as summarized in the proposed model of consumer engagement.
European Journal of Marketing
Torkzadeh, Samaneh; Zolfagharian, Mohammadali; Yazdanparast, Atefeh; and Gremler, Dwayne D., "From customer readiness to customer retention: the mediating role of customer psychological and behavioral engagement" (2022). School of Management. 62.