Beyond traditional word-of-mouth: An expanded model of customer-driven influence

Vera Blazevic, Wafa Hammedi, Ina Garnefeld, Roland T. Rust, Timothy Keiningham, Tor W. Andreassen, Naveen Donthu, Walter Carl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Business and academia alike have become aware of the crucial role of customer-to-customer interactions. Facilitated by the increasing customer connectedness through online media possibilities, companies need to understand how customers influence each other and how to manage these customer interactions. The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize an expanded model of customer-driven influence (CDI) that presents an overview of the influence process and its determinants. The model covers important issues, such as deliberate versus unintentional sender actions, verbal and non-verbal communication, and reflective and impulsive receiver reactions. Design/methodology/approach: This article is the result of the first Thought Leadership Conference on Service Marketing, held in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 2012. Findings: The model shows the importance of considering goal theory in studying customer-driven influence. Both sender and receiver can act and react in deliberate and unintentional ways. The mechanisms for customer-driven influence are then contingent upon which particular goal (combination) is activated. Message reception is either verbal or non-verbal. Furthermore, the receiver can react either by reflective processing or by impulsive processing leading to liking a particular product or wanting the product (respectively). Accordingly, the receiver builds behavioral intentions of purchasing and further talking about the particular product. Originality/value: This paper synthesizes insights from the extant literature on word-of-mouth, social influence, and dual processing of information to develop a comprehensive model customer-driven influence. The authors' framework is embedded in goal system theory, as it addresses fundamental self-regulatory issues, such as the impact of implicit goal activation and essential contextual factors on preference formation and choice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-313
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer-driven influence
  • Customer-to-customer interactions
  • Dual processing
  • Goal theory
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Reflective behavior
  • Word-of-mouth


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