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Title: Customer engagement in the hotel industry: perceptions of hotel staff and guests

Authors: Henna Järvi

Addresses: School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: Research has focused on how customer engagement enables firms to involve their customers through offerings and social media and how customers can engage in creating experiences. However, empirical evidence is still lacking on how customer engagement is achieved, especially on how service experience and customer engagement are connected and customer engagement's negative outcomes. Hence, this paper studies customer engagement in the hotel context and explores the antecedents and outcomes of customer engagement. We conducted a qualitative study with a hotel chain and drew empirical data from 12 semi-structured interviews and 15 reflective diaries. We propose that customer engagement can be achieved through dialogue, customer engagement strategy, and service experience, the latter playing a significant role in achieving customer engagement. We also highlight the positive and negative outcomes of customer engagement. We contribute to the growing customer engagement literature by offering a holistic understanding of the concept, including antecedents and outcomes.

Keywords: customer engagement; customer disengagement; tourism; service experience; hotel; loyalty program; Finland; negative outcomes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2019.096901

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2019 Vol.18 No.1, pp.109 - 127

Available online: 27 Nov 2018 *

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