An emerging area of research within marketing, and the services literature in particular, examines the impact of customer engagement on key organizational outcomes. Rooted in service-dominant (S-D) logic, this notion of customer engagement posits that customers are key actors in value creation in the service consumption experience. The current research looks at key connections among customers, specifically the network connections
customers. Limited research has investigated customer support that occurs face-to-face despite the efficacy of customer-to-customer linkages in predicting organizational outcomes. Drawing on the customer engagement literature, the authors develop a theoretical framework providing insight as to what influences customer connection and how to leverage these relationships. Using network theory, we extend the customer engagement literature by exploring how customer-to-customer connections foster inter-customer social support and ultimately firm performance. This framework is tested in a health club setting, where customers frequently interact with other customers and the organization. Results suggest that connecting customers lead to greater levels of inter-customer social support. In addition, inter-customer social support leads to higher levels of firm performance, customer satisfaction and ability/role clarity in future co-creation. Based on our results, managers should facilitate customer connections and leverage these as resources that will increase both affective and objective performance outcomes.