Do satisfied customers bad-mouth innovative products?

Parthasarathy, Madhavan and Forlani, David
Psychology & Marketing; Dec. 2010, Vol. 27 Issue 12, pp. 1134-1153

For many years marketing academics have recommended, and practitioners have implemented, organization-wide programs that measure customers’ levels of satisfaction with a firm’s offerings because it is believed that satisfied customers are both more likely to continue using a previously adopted product and less likely to engage in negative word-of-mouth communication. Given the ubiquity of product-review forums resulting from today’s increasing levels of e-commerce, this paper pairs cause constructs from the diffusion literature with effect constructs from the satisfaction and services literatures to reconsider that perspective. Specifically, it examines the relationships bet-ween six perceived innovation attributes known to influence a new product’s diffusion process and two post-adoption behaviors, satisfaction and negative word-of-mouth communication. The results quash previous assumptions that satisfaction mediates negative word-of-mouth communication and reveal that satisfied customers do speak ill of previously adopted products. Implications for both theory and practice are also presented.