Communication, Digital Technology, and Organization CTO

Call for Papers Special Issue on Expressions and Reactions to Customer (Dis)Satisfaction Online

  • 1.  Call for Papers Special Issue on Expressions and Reactions to Customer (Dis)Satisfaction Online

    Posted 22 days ago
    International Journal of Business Communication

    Special Issue:
    The expression of and reactions to customer (dis)satisfaction online

    Guest Editors:
    Nicolas Ruytenbeek and Sofie Decock, Ghent University, Belgium

    Call for Papers

    In the current era of digitalization, customers are routinely invited to express their dissatisfaction with a product or a service and to provide recommendations for other prospective customers by writing complaints and negative reviews on a variety of online social media platforms. Such forms of negative online word-of-mouth have been found to strongly influence other consumers' purchase decisions. Because this feedback is negative, companies face a risk of negative emotional contagion because the negativity expressed in a particular comment can spread to the whole community, which can damage the companies' reputation and profits. In an attempt to take consumer feedback into account, companies engage in "webcare" and hire customer service agents to address consumers' concerns. Following-up on these developments, scholars have started to research companies' responses to customer complaints and negative consumer feedback from the perspective of discourse analysis and linguistic pragmatics, paying attention to their linguistic realizations and their interactional dynamics. To date, there is, however, little knowledge on the communicative strategies used by (dis)satisfied customers to voice their (dis)satisfaction, and on those used by companies to address consumer feedback. The aim of this Special Issue thus is to further expand our knowledge on the discourse-pragmatic strategies used by (dis)satisfied customers online, and on how these different strategies influence other prospective customers' perceptions, ultimately impacting their purchase decisions.
    This Special Issue positions itself at the intersection of linguistics, communication and marketing studies. Its aim is to further expand our knowledge on the discourse-pragmatic strategies used by (dis)satisfied customers and organizations online, and on how these different strategies influence other prospective customers' perceptions, ultimately impacting their purchase decisions. We are interested in articles focusing on the discourse of consumer feedback, webcare, or both, on different social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor), informed by different research traditions (e.g., conversation analysis, pragmatics, forensic linguistics, service research, PR studies), and adopting different theoretical perspectives (e.g., politeness, emotional contagion, credibility, customer satisfaction, organizational reputation, conversational human voice, corporate legitimacy). Overall, we target articles which connect a focus on the linguistic and discursive aspects of customer feedback and webcare with insights from service, hospitality and PR research. In this context, we welcome contributions along the lines of the following research avenues (the list is not exhaustive):
    (a) studies which further increase our contextualized knowledge of customer (dis)satisfaction and webcare discourse by analyzing these types of discourse and their effects depending on, for instance, linguaculture, channel, genre, mode, industry, and failure attributions;
    (b) studies which focus on the use, functionality and effectiveness of paralinguistic features (e.g., exclamation marks, emoji) in consumer feedback and webcare discourse;
    (c) research which combines linguistic analysis and experiments based on such an analysis, as well as research adopting an interactional perspective (taking into account both customer and organizational discourse and how they influence each other);
    (d) studies which further explore the strongly felt tension between the ideal of transparency through a dialogic approach on social media (customers and organizations interacting with each other) on the one hand and the reality of practicing discursive finalization as a social media gatekeeping organizational policy on the other, and find out more about the repercussions of different types of discursive finalization in terms of customer satisfaction and organizational reputation;
    (e) studies which aim at gaining more insight into the perspective of organizations, webcare agents, and one-person businesses regarding how to deal with and respond to customer dissatisfaction;
    (f) studies which address the topic of the credibility and trustfulness of consumer reviews from the perspective of forensic linguistics.
    All manuscripts will be reviewed following IJBC´s normal double-blind review process. The selection criteria will be: 1) fit with the aims of the Special Issue; 2) scientific excellence (based on a scoring grid).
    For your submission, please send an initial proposal consisting in a short version of your article (approximately 3-5 pages). This proposal should include your research questions, description of data, approach, and (expected) results. Your proposal should be submitted through e-mail to Nicolas.Ruytenbeek@ugent.be (and Sofie.Decock@ugent.be in cc) no later than February 1, 2022. Contributors will be informed of decisions by March 15, 2022. All accepted proposals must be completed and submitted as full papers by June 15, 2022.

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    Jacqueline Rowley Mayfield
    Professor
    Texas A & M International Univ.
    Laredo TX
    (956) 326-2533
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