Customer satisfaction and word of mouth

Eugene W. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1308 Scopus citations


Do dissatisfied customers engage in more or less word of mouth than satisfied customers? There is theoretical and empirical support for both possibilities. To better understand this issue, the authors developed a utility-based model of the relationship between customer satisfaction and word of mouth. The hypothesized functional form-an asymmetric U-shape-cannot be rejected based on data from the United States and Sweden. In addition, the estimation results based on the two samples are similar, suggesting that the proposed relationship is generalizable. The findings also indicate that although dissatisfied customers do engage in greater word of mouth than satisfied ones, common suppositions concerning the size of this difference appear to be exaggerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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