Relative effects of touchpoint orientation on customer engagement, trust, and loyalty : the role of proactiveness and artificial intelligence-capabilities
Abro, Ahmed bux
University of Wisconsin--Whitewater
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The marketing landscape has grown complex and fragmented due to the growth of digital touchpoints. The proliferation evolves into siloed, depersonalized, and less effective touchpoints, causing discord and broken relationships that result in disengaged customers. To address research and practice needs, we theorize, conceptualize, and empirically validate touchpoint orientation (TO), a multi-touchpoint approach to effectively position relevant and personalized touchpoints to establish strong firm–customer relationships. This research offers a framework that leverages antecedents of TO proactiveness and TO technology to enhance desired outcomes of customer engagement, trust, loyalty, and customer satisfaction. Study 1 supplemented the TO theoretical perspective by gaining support from the practitioner’s perspective, achieved by using grounded theory and the semi-structured interviews of 21 marketing and sales professionals, academicians, and customers. Study 2 used 2x2x3, a scenario-based experiment in the context of firm–customer touchpoints, employing 636 consumer participants. It established empirical support for an interaction effect of TO proactiveness on the relationship between TO technology and outcome variables (customer engagement, trust, loyalty, and customer satisfaction) such that the impact of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled TO on outcome variables was stronger for reactive TO than proactive TO. Our research offers a touchpoint positioning approach for practice and expands the customer engagement framework (Brodie, Hollebeek, Juric, & Ilic, 2011; Vivek, Beatty, & Morgan, 2012).