Marketers invest heavily in quality and satisfaction to influence customer decisions. However, many authors argue that such investments become inefficient in the presence of social influence. This study addresses this issue by examining the moderating role of the different social mechanisms on the relationship between customers’ quality experiences and their cross-buy behavior. The authors observe the cross-buy behavior of more than 100.000 customers of a European telecommunications operator over a period of 20 months. The results show that own quality experience is ignored only in the presence of social normative pressure. Thus, customers still rely on their own information about quality for future decisions, even when information from peers is available. However, when peer pressure increases, customers will follow the behavior of their peers regardless of their own experiences with quality. These insights suggest a different approach to quality and satisfaction management for firms dealing with offerings and customers prone to social normative pressure.

Authors: Jeroen van den Ochtend, Markus Meiererand René Algesheimer