The Impact of Online Customer Support on Customer Loyalty

Publication: ThesisDoctoral thesis


Customer loyalty is seen as one of the key factors of a company's success. According to current research results, one premise is the perceived quality of customer support. In the field of B2C e- commerce online customer support areas are used to fulfill parts of this support duty. It is an open question how big the impact of online customer support on customer loyalty is. Furthermore it is unidentified which criteria are the most important ones to foster customer loyalty. The impact of online customer service areas on customer loyalty is the new contribution of this thesis. The goal of this thesis is twofold: first, to establish a prototype web application based on a content analysis of the Fortune Top 500 companies. The prototype will be able to show the current situation on online customer support areas on websites. It is meant as a tool to help companies evaluate their own customer support offerings and compare them with competitors in the same industry. This could support strategic decisions towards their own online customer support areas. The second goal is to determine the factors influencing customer loyalty the most. Using statistical methods based on survey data, the dominant influencing factors are extracted. The combination of the results is used to explain how the so-gained knowledge can be used by practitioners and researchers. In the first part a brief overview of the current scientific work and recent research results are given. After this, theoretical background is described and a model based on existing models and theories is developed. Afterwards, methods and data acquiring steps are depicted. The results of these investigations are presented and interpreted. The development of the prototype is sketched in brief. A conclusion and further research recommendations complete the thesis.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • WU Wien, Institut for MIS
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 508
  • 502050 Business informatics
  • 102
  • 502
  • 502030 Project management
  • 502019 Marketing

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