Who is saying what? An investigation into Word-of-mouth Communication at the British Council Singapore Teaching Centre

Gibbings, James Michael (2010) Who is saying what? An investigation into Word-of-mouth Communication at the British Council Singapore Teaching Centre. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Prospects considering a service purchase may seek recommendations or opinions from consumers who have previous experience of the provider. Word-of-mouth communication (WOM) can play a key part in the purchase decision-making process, and is thought to have grown in influence as consumers have become more wary of corporate information sources.

In order to better influence and manage WOM, service organisations need to develop their understanding of this phenomenon. Marketers may also seek to identify and engage those consumers most active in WOM. This study aims to both test and extend the existing literature on four areas: WOM stimuli, WOM sources, WOM content and WOM activism.

Primary research was completed at the British Council Singapore teaching centre (BC), a provider of English language courses to a range of students. Data was collected from two BC customer groups; those acquired through WOM recommendation and those acquired through other sources. Adult customers from a number of countries, cultural and linguistic backgrounds were included in the sample.

The results of a quantitative survey suggest that the majority of WOM is initiated by a prospect, is received from a close-tie source (i.e. someone known personally) and focuses on personal experiences related to the service provider.

Qualitative interviews were also conducted with individuals who had actively recommended the provider through WOM. They were found to generally enjoy giving and receiving recommendations, and to actively compare alternative service providers. They also expressed personal attachments to the organisation, its employees or brand.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2011 09:43
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2016 15:52
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/24618

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