Understanding Positivity Effects of Firm-Sponsored Satisfaction Surveys on Customer Behavior

Paul Dholakia, Rice University, USA
Robert Westbrook, Rice University, USA
Participation in a firm-sponsored satisfaction survey has been shown to result in a positivity effect, i.e., in more firm-related behaviors afterward relative to non-participants even when respondents express dissatisfaction. In this research, we examine why the positivity effect occurs. Results provide evidence that survey participants report higher levels of cognitions regarding the firm when compared to non-participants, including: (a) positive firm evaluation (e.g., “the firm is responsive and cares for all its customers”), (b) perceptions of receiving special treatment (e.g., “the firm values my business and is treating me ‘as special’ ”), and (c) a sense of obligation (e.g., “I should reciprocate the firm’s actions by buying more of its products”). These cognitions persist among respondents even nine months after the initial survey in the field.
[ to cite ]:
Paul Dholakia and Robert Westbrook (2007) ,"Understanding Positivity Effects of Firm-Sponsored Satisfaction Surveys on Customer Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 430-450.