Customer Responses to Channel Migration Strategies toward the E-Channel

Debra Trampe, University of Groningen
Umut Konuş, University of Amsterdam
Peter C. Verhoef, University of Groningen

Many firms stimulate customers to use the E-channel for services, which provokes various consumer responses to such limits on their freedom of choice. In a study on bank customers, we examine the extent of customer reactance in response to various E-channel migration strategies, the potential of incentive programs in mitigating customer reactance, as well as the moderating role of attitudinal loyalty. Finally, we address the mediating role of customer forgiveness. Our study documents that rewarding the use of the firm-preferred E-channel is more effective than punishing the retention of the incumbent channel, and that a punishment-based E-channel migration strategy causes similar reactance levels as forced migration does. Importantly, the mere act of forcing also creates reactance among those customers who have already been using the firm-preferred E-channel. In addition, our results reveal that highly loyal customers exhibit lower reactance than less loyal customers. By including customer forgiveness as a process measure we show that this partially occurs because highly loyal customers tend to be more forgiving toward the firm than less loyal customers.

 

* Debra Trampe, Umut Konuş, and Peter C. Verhoef. “Customer Responses to Channel Migration Strategies Toward the E-channel.” Journal of Interactive Marketing 28, no. 4 (2014): 257-270.