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Marketing faculty win service research award

Announcements | Mar 16, 2017 |

Is it better to keep your current customers loyal or to grow your customer base?

Gabelli School marketing professors Alexander Buoye, Yuliya Komarova, Sertan Kabadayi, Mohammad G. Nejad, and Lerzan Aksoy, along with Timothy Keiningham of St. John’s University and Jason Allsopp of Ipsos Reid, addressed this question in a recent paper in the Journal of Service Management.

Their article, “Is share of wallet exclusively about making customers happy or having more customers? Exploring the relationship between satisfaction and double jeopardy,” has been named a winner of the journal’s 2016 Robert Johnston Highly Commended Award. The award is given to papers that make a significant contribution to service literature.

The article’s biggest contribution is the recommendation of taking a more holistic strategy for addressing both customer satisfaction and market penetration—meaning, in short, Buoye says, “it’s largely about communication.” Marketers should look for areas where cooperation can happen and try initiatives that are likely to attract new customers while also making current customers happier.

The seven-person author team knows about cooperation. While managing such a large group can be challenging, Buoye points to the contributions each co-author made as opportunities to improve the final paper.

Their research spanned 11 different industry sectors, including grocery, mass merchandisers, home improvement/DIY, airlines, computers, and automobiles, with the same conclusion: Looking at only one side of the customer relationship can be damaging.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other,” Buoye reiterates. As in the process of creating the winning article itself, paying attention to the bigger picture is key.

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