Customers' relational models as determinants of customer engagement value
Purpose – The authors apply Alan P. Fiske's relational models framework to customers' engagement with service firms – specifically, they propose that customers who hold different relational models for the service firm are likely to engage with the firm in dissimilar ways, thus generating different types of customer engagement value for the firm. Fiske's relational models framework is eminently suitable for studying customer-service firm engagement because it is widely adopted in the social sciences as a rigorously developed framework for conceptualizing social interactions. Design/methodology/approach – The article bridges Fiske's relational models framework and Kumar et al. 's customer engagement value framework, and conceptually demonstrates that customers employing different relational models for the service firm are likely to generate different types of customer engagement value for the firm. Findings – The article demonstrates conceptually that customers' relational models, schemata, and scripts influence how consumers engage with the firm and the type of customer engagement value accruing to the firm. Research limitations/implications – This research has implications for service firms' relationship strategies. First, service marketers can determine the desired customer engagement value(s) and then craft their customer relationship strategy so that it maximizes those engagement value(s). The article suggests relationship strategies that service firms may implement for encouraging customers to adopt different relational models. Originality/value – No research has bridged relational models theories and customer engagement value theories.