Customer-Firm Interaction and the Small Firm: Exploring Individual, Firm, and Environmental Level Antecedents
Customer-firm interaction (CFI) has been extensively studied in the past for its effects on customer satisfaction, new product success, and firm performance. Research on the factors that facilitate or inhibit firms from interacting with their customers, however, is sparse. In this paper, we explored individual, product/service, and environmental factors that influence customer-firm interaction. Analyses are based on data from 172 small firms. Findings suggest that significant association exists between CFI and numerous individual, firm, and environmental factors, supporting the notion that in entrepreneurial and small firms CFI is used in a strategic fashion, to support market position. A set of post-hoc analyses showed that CFI antecedents vary by context such as entrepreneurs’ gender, experience, or firm performance. Results, their implications, and future research opportunities are discussed.
Customer-firm interaction (CFI) has been extensively studied in the past for its effects on customer satisfaction, new product success, and firm performance. Research on the factors that facilitate or inhibit firms from interacting with their customers, however, is sparse. In this paper we explored individual, product/service, and environmental factors that influence customer-firm interaction. Analyses are based on data from 172 small firms. Findings suggest that significant association exists between CFI and numerous individual, firm, and environmental factors, supporting the notion that in entrepreneurial and small firms CFI is used in a strategic fashion, to support market position. A set of post-hoc analyses showed that CFI antecedents vary by context such as entrepreneurs’ gender, experience, or firm performance. Results, their implications, and future research opportunities are discussed.
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