The devil you know

self-esteem and switching responses to poor service

Irene Consiglio, Stijn M J Van Osselaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigate a psychological factor regulating consumers’ switching in response to poor service quality: chronic global self-esteem. Whereas high-self-esteem consumers tend to switch to other providers in response to poor service quality, low-self-esteem consumers often do not. This happens because low-self-esteem consumers who experience poor service become risk-averse, and therefore reluctant to engage in new committed service relationships. Indeed, low-self-esteem consumers’ likelihood to switch to an alternative provider in response to poor service quality increases when this provider offers a less risky, low commitment (vs. more risky, high commitment) contract. Moreover, experimentally reducing low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion increases their likelihood to switch to alternative providers in response to poor service quality. Finally, low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion mediates their reluctance to switch in response to poor service. We rule out failure severity perceptions, power, autonomy, affect, and action orientation as alternative explanations. The implication of this research for public policy makers is that promoting competition (by offering consumers options and by reducing switching costs) may not be enough to protect the welfare of low-self-esteem consumers. We also suggest ways in which firms can untie vulnerable consumers from negative service relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-605
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

self-esteem
action orientation
Devil
Self-esteem
commitment
psychological factors
public policy
autonomy
welfare
Service quality
firm
costs

Keywords

  • self-esteem
  • switching
  • inertia
  • loyalty
  • service quality
  • consumer welfare

Cite this

@article{05aa42c0d01147189d77f383d1c5ca7d,
title = "The devil you know: self-esteem and switching responses to poor service",
abstract = "We investigate a psychological factor regulating consumers’ switching in response to poor service quality: chronic global self-esteem. Whereas high-self-esteem consumers tend to switch to other providers in response to poor service quality, low-self-esteem consumers often do not. This happens because low-self-esteem consumers who experience poor service become risk-averse, and therefore reluctant to engage in new committed service relationships. Indeed, low-self-esteem consumers’ likelihood to switch to an alternative provider in response to poor service quality increases when this provider offers a less risky, low commitment (vs. more risky, high commitment) contract. Moreover, experimentally reducing low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion increases their likelihood to switch to alternative providers in response to poor service quality. Finally, low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion mediates their reluctance to switch in response to poor service. We rule out failure severity perceptions, power, autonomy, affect, and action orientation as alternative explanations. The implication of this research for public policy makers is that promoting competition (by offering consumers options and by reducing switching costs) may not be enough to protect the welfare of low-self-esteem consumers. We also suggest ways in which firms can untie vulnerable consumers from negative service relationships.",
keywords = "self-esteem, switching, inertia, loyalty, service quality, consumer welfare",
author = "Irene Consiglio and {Van Osselaer}, {Stijn M J}",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/jcr/ucz001",
language = "English",
volume = "46",
pages = "590--605",
journal = "Journal of Consumer Research",
issn = "0093-5301",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "3",

}

The devil you know : self-esteem and switching responses to poor service. / Consiglio, Irene; Van Osselaer, Stijn M J.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 46, No. 3, 01.10.2019, p. 590-605.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The devil you know

T2 - self-esteem and switching responses to poor service

AU - Consiglio, Irene

AU - Van Osselaer, Stijn M J

PY - 2019/10/1

Y1 - 2019/10/1

N2 - We investigate a psychological factor regulating consumers’ switching in response to poor service quality: chronic global self-esteem. Whereas high-self-esteem consumers tend to switch to other providers in response to poor service quality, low-self-esteem consumers often do not. This happens because low-self-esteem consumers who experience poor service become risk-averse, and therefore reluctant to engage in new committed service relationships. Indeed, low-self-esteem consumers’ likelihood to switch to an alternative provider in response to poor service quality increases when this provider offers a less risky, low commitment (vs. more risky, high commitment) contract. Moreover, experimentally reducing low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion increases their likelihood to switch to alternative providers in response to poor service quality. Finally, low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion mediates their reluctance to switch in response to poor service. We rule out failure severity perceptions, power, autonomy, affect, and action orientation as alternative explanations. The implication of this research for public policy makers is that promoting competition (by offering consumers options and by reducing switching costs) may not be enough to protect the welfare of low-self-esteem consumers. We also suggest ways in which firms can untie vulnerable consumers from negative service relationships.

AB - We investigate a psychological factor regulating consumers’ switching in response to poor service quality: chronic global self-esteem. Whereas high-self-esteem consumers tend to switch to other providers in response to poor service quality, low-self-esteem consumers often do not. This happens because low-self-esteem consumers who experience poor service become risk-averse, and therefore reluctant to engage in new committed service relationships. Indeed, low-self-esteem consumers’ likelihood to switch to an alternative provider in response to poor service quality increases when this provider offers a less risky, low commitment (vs. more risky, high commitment) contract. Moreover, experimentally reducing low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion increases their likelihood to switch to alternative providers in response to poor service quality. Finally, low-self-esteem consumers’ risk aversion mediates their reluctance to switch in response to poor service. We rule out failure severity perceptions, power, autonomy, affect, and action orientation as alternative explanations. The implication of this research for public policy makers is that promoting competition (by offering consumers options and by reducing switching costs) may not be enough to protect the welfare of low-self-esteem consumers. We also suggest ways in which firms can untie vulnerable consumers from negative service relationships.

KW - self-esteem

KW - switching

KW - inertia

KW - loyalty

KW - service quality

KW - consumer welfare

U2 - 10.1093/jcr/ucz001

DO - 10.1093/jcr/ucz001

M3 - Article

VL - 46

SP - 590

EP - 605

JO - Journal of Consumer Research

JF - Journal of Consumer Research

SN - 0093-5301

IS - 3

ER -