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Smile or Pity? Examine the impact of emoticon valence on customer satisfaction and purchase intention

Smile or Pity? Examine the impact of emoticon valence on customer satisfaction and purchase intention
Smile or Pity? Examine the impact of emoticon valence on customer satisfaction and purchase intention
Emoticons are pictorial/textual depictions of facial expressions used in marketing communications. Little is known about how customers interpret positive or negative emoticons used by customer service employees in service failure contexts. We investigate the impact of emoticon type on customer satisfaction and re-purchasing intention, and examine the sequential mediating role of perceived sincerity and willingness to forgive. Results show that the use of a negative emoticon in a response leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction and re-purchasing intention than responses with a positive emoticon. We further demonstrate that customers perceive that the presence of a negative emoticon in a response is more sincere and generates a higher level of forgiveness than those responses that use positive emoticons, but only when the communal relationship is salient in the customer’s mind. Our findings offer important theoretical and practical implications in service failure contexts.
Emoticons, Willingness to forgive, Perceived sincerity, Relationship norms, Customer satisfaction, Purchase intention
0148-2963
Ma, Ruijing
df6db1b3-ba75-4d85-bbc6-187739fdff87
Wang, Weisha
3b06920a-f578-41b8-a356-7e2da53d3bf6
Ma, Ruijing
df6db1b3-ba75-4d85-bbc6-187739fdff87
Wang, Weisha
3b06920a-f578-41b8-a356-7e2da53d3bf6

Ma, Ruijing and Wang, Weisha (2021) Smile or Pity? Examine the impact of emoticon valence on customer satisfaction and purchase intention. Journal of Business Research. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Emoticons are pictorial/textual depictions of facial expressions used in marketing communications. Little is known about how customers interpret positive or negative emoticons used by customer service employees in service failure contexts. We investigate the impact of emoticon type on customer satisfaction and re-purchasing intention, and examine the sequential mediating role of perceived sincerity and willingness to forgive. Results show that the use of a negative emoticon in a response leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction and re-purchasing intention than responses with a positive emoticon. We further demonstrate that customers perceive that the presence of a negative emoticon in a response is more sincere and generates a higher level of forgiveness than those responses that use positive emoticons, but only when the communal relationship is salient in the customer’s mind. Our findings offer important theoretical and practical implications in service failure contexts.

Text
Emoticon paper 27May 2021 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 29 October 2022.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 29 May 2021
Keywords: Emoticons, Willingness to forgive, Perceived sincerity, Relationship norms, Customer satisfaction, Purchase intention

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449539
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449539
ISSN: 0148-2963
PURE UUID: b0e8696c-6116-45ef-a519-7740f83da8b7
ORCID for Weisha Wang: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2985-3416

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jun 2021 16:30
Last modified: 08 Jun 2021 01:45

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Contributors

Author: Ruijing Ma
Author: Weisha Wang ORCID iD

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