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


  • Woisetschläger, David M.
  • Lentz, Patrick
  • Evanschitzky, Heiner


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Woisetschläger, David M. & Lentz, Patrick & Evanschitzky, Heiner, 2011. "How habits, social ties, and economic switching barriers affect customer loyalty in contractual service settings," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(8), pages 800-808, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:64:y:2011:i:8:p:800-808

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yuxin Chen & Jinhong Xie, 2007. "Cross-Market Network Effect with Asymmetric Customer Loyalty: Implications for Competitive Advantage," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(1), pages 52-66, 01-02.
    2. W. Edwards Deming & Gerald J. Glasser, 1968. "A Markovian Analysis of the Life of Newspaper Subscriptions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(6), pages 283-293, February.
    3. Balabanis, George & Reynolds, Nina & Simintiras, Antonis, 2006. "Bases of e-store loyalty: Perceived switching barriers and satisfaction," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 214-224, February.
    4. Armstrong, J. Scott & Overton, Terry S., 1977. "Estimating Nonresponse Bias in Mail Surveys," MPRA Paper 81694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Chiu, Hung-Chang & Hsieh, Yi-Ching & Li, Yu-Chuan & Lee, Monle, 2005. "Relationship marketing and consumer switching behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 1681-1689, December.
    6. Brown, Jacqueline Johnson & Reingen, Peter H, 1987. " Social Ties and Word-of-Mouth Referral Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 350-362, December.
    7. Jones, Michael A. & Mothersbaugh, David L. & Beatty, Sharon E., 2002. "Why customers stay: measuring the underlying dimensions of services switching costs and managing their differential strategic outcomes," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 441-450, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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    Cited by:

    1. Haj-Salem, Narjes & Chebat, Jean-Charles, 2014. "The double-edged sword: The positive and negative effects of switching costs on customer exit and revenge," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 1106-1113.
    2. Sascha Sardadvar, 2014. "A model of price-setting in regional duopolies based on consumer loyalty: theory and evidence from the Austrian newspaper industry," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(2), pages 591-616, September.
    3. Carlos Pateiro-Rodriguez & Carlos Javier Prado-Domínguez & Jesus M. Garcia-Iglesias & Jose M. Barreiro-Viñan, 2016. "Editorial statement: Switching costs in the European postal service. Are there any solutions?," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 5(2), pages 104-119, December.
    4. Picón, Araceli & Castro, Ignacio & Roldán, José L., 2014. "The relationship between satisfaction and loyalty: A mediator analysis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 746-751.
    5. Lin, Chiu Hui & Wu, Chih-Wen & Cheng, Yi-Han, 2015. "The empirical study of consumers' loyalty for display technology," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2260-2265.
    6. repec:eee:aumajo:v:22:y:2014:i:1:p:69-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:spr:svcbiz:v:11:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11628-016-0331-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pick, Doreén & Zielke, Stephan, 2015. "How electricity providers communicate price increases – A qualitative analysis of notification letters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 303-314.
    9. Mª. Oviedo-García & Manuela Vega-Vázquez & Mario Castellanos-Verdugo, 2015. "CRM and RQ as key factors in retail setting services in an economic crisis context. The case of travel agencies," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 9(4), pages 663-685, December.


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