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01-04-2011 | Original Empirical Research | Issue 2/2011

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 2/2011

Proactive customer orientation and its role for creating customer value in global markets

Journal:
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science > Issue 2/2011
Authors:
Christopher P. Blocker, Daniel J. Flint, Matthew B. Myers, Stanley F. Slater

Abstract

Today’s business customers expect sellers not only to respond effectively to their expressed needs but also to understand their business sufficiently well to proactively address their latent and future needs. Yet, research shows that many firms underestimate, misunderstand, or overlook these customer expectations. To draw clarity to this discrepancy, this study explores the notion of proactive customer orientation and examines the degree to which this capability offers an opportunity for competitive advantage. While research in recent years has explored the role of proactive customer orientation in new product performance, empirical investigation in this stream of market orientation literature is significantly underdeveloped. We assess the impact of the proactive customer orientation construct on value creation by taking a novel approach that examines the proactive customer orientation → value → satisfaction → loyalty chain using data from 800 business customers in India, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We find that, relative to other firm capabilities, proactive customer orientation is the most consistent driver of customer value across our multinational data set. Results also show robust effects for the interaction of proactive and responsive customer orientation to create superior value. Several moderating conditions further frame the impact of this capability: intense levels of customer value change, a global relationship scope, and a transnational relationship structure. Overall, findings significantly advance the understanding of the proactive dimension within market orientation and provide marketers with insights for voice of the customer processes.

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