Customer-to-Customer Interactions: Broadening the Scope of Word of Mouth Research

Ruth Bolton
Marnix S. Bugel
Oliver Gotz
Barak Libai
Hans Riselada
Ko de Ruyter
Andrew T. Stephen

The increasing emphasis on understanding the antecedents and consequences of customer-to- customer (C2C) interactions is one of the essential developments of customer management in recent years. This interest is driven much by new online environments that enable customers to be connected in numerous new ways, and also supply researchers’ access to rich C2C data. These developments present an opportunity and a challenge for firms and researchers who need to identify the aspects of C2C research on which to focus, as well as develop research methods that take advantage of these new data. Our aim here is to take a broad view of C2C interactions and their effects, and to highlight areas of significant research interest in this domain. We look at four main areas: The different dimensions of C2C interactions, social system issues related to individuals and to online communities, C2C context issues including product, channel, relational and market characteristics; and the identification, modeling and assessing the business outcomes of C2C interactions.

 

*This paper is published in Journal of Service Research, 13 (3), 2010, 267-82.