Toward a theory of repeat purchase drivers for consumer services

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Paul, M. ; Hennig-Thurau, T. ; Gremler, D. D. ; Gwinner, K. P. ; Wiertz, C. (2009)

The marketing discipline’s knowledge about the drivers of service customers’ repeat purchase behavior is highly fragmented. This research attempts to overcome that fragmented state of knowledge by making major advances toward a theory of repeat purchase drivers for consumer services. Drawing on means–end theory, the authors develop a hierarchical classification scheme that organizes repeat purchase drivers into an integrative and comprehensive framework. They then identify drivers on the basis of 188 face-to-face laddering interviews in two countries (USA and Germany) and assess the drivers’ importance and interrelations through a national probability sample survey of 618 service customers. In addition to presenting an exhaustive and coherent set of hierarchical repeat-purchase drivers, the authors provide theoretical explanations for how and why drivers relate to one another and to repeat purchase behavior. This research also tests the boundary conditions of the proposed framework by accounting for different service types. In addition to its theoretical contribution, the framework provides companies with specific information about how to manage long-term customer relationships successfully.
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