Differentiating customer engaging behavior by targeted benefits: an empirical study

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Purpose: Relationship marketing scholars and managers have recognized the potential of customer engagement to enhance business performance and customer value. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effects that different types of customer engagement behaviors have on their perceived benefits. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted two empirical studies. In the first step, 69 in-depth interviews were held to identify important customer engagement behaviors and targeted benefits. Then, in the second step, a quantitative study with 255 participants was used to match the identified customer engagement behaviors with the targeted benefits. Findings: The results reveal that there are three aggregated types of customer engagement behaviors (“value creation-focused customer engagement”, “online-focused customer engagement” and “customer-to-customer interaction-focused customer engagement”). These types of customer engagement behaviors lead to different targeted benefits (social, relationship, autonomous, economic, altruistic and self-fulfillment benefits). Research limitations/implications: A consideration of the influencing factors of the different customer-engagement-behavior types, including customers’ motives for their engagement with a company, would potentially enhance the findings. Furthermore, a closer investigation of the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics and customer engagement types can also provide deeper insights into the reasons for engaging with a certain firm or brand. Practical implications: The findings provide managers with information on how to segment customers according to their customer engagement type and associated benefits and thereby enable them to manage customer engagement behaviors more profitably. Originality/value: The results make a key contribution to the emerging research field of customer engagement by gaining deeper insights into the benefits associated with different customer engagement behaviors. It becomes clear that different customer engagement types aim at receiving various benefits.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)528-538
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Management studies - Benefits, co-creation, Online engagement, Customer-to-customer interaction, Customer engagement behavior