Merely asking the customer to recommend has an impact on word-of-mouth activity

Magnus Söderlund, Jan Mattsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines if a mere request to a customer – within the frame of a service encounter – to engage in word-of-mouth (WOM) would have an impact on the customer's subsequent WOM activity. Although previous studies have not examined this issue, theoretical arguments do exist. And they point in different directions; some suggest a positive impact, while others suggest a negative impact. To explore the issue empirically, we carried out two studies (one survey-based study and one experiment). Both generated the same result: they indicate that merely asking customers to engage in WOM has a positive impact on customers' WOM activity. In addition, we found that receiving the request was not negatively associated with the customers' overall evaluations, such as customer satisfaction, which indicates that the potential for negative consequences of making the request seems to be low.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Pages (from-to)80-89
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Word-of-mouth advertising
  • Customer services
  • Data mining
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Economic surveys
  • Mere requests
  • Service employee behavior
  • Service encounters
  • Word-of-mouth


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