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Purpose – Since positive word-of-mouth (WOM) is an expression of customer-actualized
value, the paper postulate that WOM is not only related to a holistic set of assessments of
the service experience but also to the idiosyncratic nature of the individual customer. In
particular, do socially oriented individuals have a greater propensity to engage in positive
WOM? The purpose of this paper is to test hypotheses that customer sociability as well as a
set of dimensions of the total service experience, are antecedents of positive WOM. The
context studied is a dental treatment involving considerable personal meaning and implication
in the whole service process.Design/methodology/approach – A cohort of 120 patients are
studied post-treatment. Independent variables include the agreeableness and extraversion,
other-oriented values, as well as dimensions of the service experience assessed by information
adequacy, pain and discomfort, patient-to-patient interaction, patient-to-personnel
interaction, and recovery outcomes. The dependent variable is the strength of positive WOM
intentions.Findings – The sociability of patients as measured by their agreeableness,
extraversion and other-oriented values is significantly related to the strength of positive
WOM intentions. Also, to varying degrees, all dimensions of the service experience are
associated with positive WOM intentions.
Keywords: Sociability, Customer loyalty, Customer service experience, word of mouth
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