Save Like the Joneses: How Service Firms Can Utilize Deliberation and Informational Influence to Enhance Consumer Well-Being
Journal of Service Research,18 (3), 384-404.
49 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 17, 2015
This research demonstrates how service firms can encourage decisions that enhance consumers’ well-being through informational social influence. Specifically, we propose that social information regarding the beneficial behaviors of others is enhanced under a deliberative mindset. Given the financial insecurity of consumers, as well as the potential for financial services firms to positively affect consumers’ savings decisions, we test this theorizing in the context of savings. Four studies demonstrate that the open-mindedness associated with the deliberative mindset increases the effectiveness of providing high savings social information (i.e., information about the high savings rates of others). This effect does not occur for consumers with chronically high susceptibility to interpersonal influence, who are open-minded to social information regardless of mindset, but is stronger for myopically-focused consumers, who otherwise may be most likely to discount high savings information. Results suggest that financial services firms may improve consumers’ financial well-being by providing high savings social information and eliciting a deliberative mindset in financial brochures, educational programs, and interactions with financial advisors. Implications for how service firms can utilize a deliberative mindset and informational influence to enhance consumer well-being by encouraging beneficial behaviors like saving, exercising, or energy conservation, which conflict with existing desires, are discussed.
Keywords: Social influence, Mindsets, Financial decision making, Saving, Open-mindedness, Consideration of future consequences, Consumer susceptibility to interpersonal
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