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Customer service 140 characters at a time: The users' perspective

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Abstract:

Electronic word of mouth (eWoM) has been adopted by Internet users as a way of communicating their consumption preferences and experiences. Consumers are able to reach out to others, unknown to them, and have online conversations that can influence their behaviour. Organisations need to understand how to respond to these brand-related conversations conducted via social media. By looking through the lens of social capital, this paper contributes to social media and social capital research by studying the perceptions that 44 social media users have of companies that interact with them online. The users value social networks and support as part of their online relationships. However, several new value categories are identified when compared to previous research. Further research is required to investigate possible segmentation approaches and alternative methodological choices.

Keywords: customer service; electronic word of mouth; qualitative research; social capital; social media; social network

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2013.777355

Affiliations: 1: Oxford Brookes University, UK 2: Henley Business School, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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