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Customer deviance: A framework, prevention strategies, and opportunities for future research

journal contribution
posted on 11.09.2019 by Paul W. Fombelle, Clay M. Voorhees, Mason R. Jenkins, Karim Sidaoui, Sabine Benoit, Thorsten Gruber, Anders Gustafsson, Ibrahim Abosag
The phrase the “customer is always right” assumes that customers provide universal benefits for firms. However, in recent years, customer deviance is on the rise and the academic literature has provided little insight into the drivers of deviance, the actual behaviors, and strategies for how managers can better manage a customer base that cannot be classified as universally benign. This article addresses customer deviance ranging from classic examples like shoplifting to engaging in hostile to anti-brand behaviors on social media or even breaking established norms such as trespassing in stores after closing hours. In an effort to spur new research into customer deviance, we propose a customer deviance framework encompassing the triggers, behaviors, and consequences of customer deviance with attention given to differentiating firms, employees, and other customers as the possible targets of deviant behaviors. We outline prevention strategies that comprise social, design, and technological-oriented factors, which in turn can help firms better manage deviant behavior. In doing so, we identify gaps in the literature and close with an actionable agenda for future research that can help firms curtail these negative customer behaviors.

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

Journal of Business Research

Volume

116

Issue

August 2020

Pages

387 - 400

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Business Research and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.09.012.

Acceptance date

05/09/2019

Publication date

2019-11-01

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0148-2963

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Thorsten Gruber

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