Communal Service Delivery: How Customers Benefit from Participation in Firm-Hosted Virtual P3 Communities

44 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2009

See all articles by Utpal M. Dholakia

Utpal M. Dholakia

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

Vera Blazevic

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Caroline Wiertz

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School

René Algesheimer

University of Zurich

Date Written: January 30, 2009

Abstract

Firm-hosted virtual peer-to-peer problem solving (P3) communities offer a low-cost, credible, and effective means of delivering education and ongoing assistance services to customers of complex, frequently evolving products. Building upon the social constructivist view on learning and drawing from literature on the firm-customer relationship in services marketing, we distinguish between functional and social benefits received by P3 community participants and study the central role of learning in influencing these benefit perceptions. The proposed model is tested on data gathered from 2,299 active members of a P3 community hosted by a global online auction firm, and the framework’s generalizability is demonstrated using a sample of 204 members of a global B2B software firm’s P3 community. Based on the results, specific recommendations are provided to marketers interested in implementing service support programs via customer communities, and future research opportunities are explored.

Keywords: service support, customer community, customer service, customer-generated service

Suggested Citation

Dholakia, Utpal M. and Blazevic, Vera and Wiertz, Caroline and Algesheimer, René, Communal Service Delivery: How Customers Benefit from Participation in Firm-Hosted Virtual P3 Communities (January 30, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1444828 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1444828

Utpal M. Dholakia (Contact Author)

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business ( email )

6100 South Main Street
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Vera Blazevic

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Caroline Wiertz

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

René Algesheimer

University of Zurich ( email )

Department of Business Administration
Andreasstrasse 15
Zurich, 8050
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.market-research.uzh.ch

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