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How habits, social ties, and economic switching barriers affect customer loyalty in contractual service settings

Woisetschlager, D. M. and Lentz, P. and Evanschitzky, H. (2011) How habits, social ties, and economic switching barriers affect customer loyalty in contractual service settings. Journal of Business Research, 64 (8). pp. 800-808. ISSN 0148-2963

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Abstract

While existing literature acknowledges positive effects of satisfaction and economic switching barriers for building customer loyalty, studies analyzing interactions of these antecedents reveal mixed findings. Prior research does not consider, as antecedents of switching barriers, either habits or social ties that result from shared service-usage within a family or community. This paper contributes to the literature, first, by replicating the effects of satisfaction, economic switching barriers, and their interaction with customer loyalty and word-of-mouth of subscribers to a contractual service. Second, the study empirically tests the role of social ties as a social switching barrier. Third, the study introduces and tests the effects of habits as a precursor of economic and social switching barriers. Results reveal significant positive effects of satisfaction, economic switching barriers, and social ties on customer loyalty and word-of-mouth. Additionally, economic switching barriers and social ties interact significantly with satisfaction and habits act as a precursor of economic switching barriers and social ties.