It is Not What You Get But When You Get it: The Effect of Gift Sequence on Deposit Balances and Customer Sentiment in a Commercial Bank

37 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2009

See all articles by George Loewenstein

George Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Emily Celia Haisley

Yale School of Management

Date Written: February 5, 2009

Abstract

The impact of gifts on deposit balances and customer sentiment was examined in a longitudinal field experiment conducted on depositors at a bank. Several factors were manipulated: gift type, the accompanying message, and the sequence of gift value, which was either increasing ($35 then $100 gift), decreasing ($100 then $35 gift), or a single gift. Gifts increased deposit balances, survey response rates, and measures of customer satisfaction, trust and loyalty compared to the no-gift control. Within gift conditions the sequence of gift value was the most important factor, with a highly detrimental effect of decreasing value on deposit balances. These results showed evidence of persistence in a long term follow-up analysis of deposit balances.

Keywords: reciprocation, gift giving, sequence effects, preference patterns

Suggested Citation

Loewenstein, George F. and Haisley, Emily Celia, It is Not What You Get But When You Get it: The Effect of Gift Sequence on Deposit Balances and Customer Sentiment in a Commercial Bank (February 5, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1338117 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1338117

George F. Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-8787 (Phone)
412-268-6938 (Fax)

Emily Celia Haisley (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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