Why Consumers Who Participate In Green Programs Are Happier

Why Consumers Who Participate In Green Programs Are Happier

Consumers who participate in a company’s “green” programs—like recycling or reusing a hotel towel—are more satisfied with its overall service, a new study suggests.

Doing good makes customers feel good, and that “warm glow” shapes opinion, says Tomas Hult, professor of marketing in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. But it gets more complicated when companies throw incentives into the mix.

“Companies are increasingly adopting sustainability initiatives and ultimately these ‘green’ programs are intended to be good for the environment and also increase customers’ satisfaction,” Hult says. “Our research helps strike the right balance between incentivizing customers to participate in green programs and focusing on the bottom-line performance of the company.”

Researchers conducted four studies in three service settings: restaurants, hotels, and online retailing. Findings show that the types of rewards offered by companies to participate in sustainability programs could affect satisfaction.

The researchers tested two types of incentives: those that benefit solely the consumer (i.e. loyalty points) and those that benefit another organization (i.e. charitable donations). For green program participants, rewards that benefit another organization created the highest rate of satisfaction about the business.

And for those who chose not to participate in a green program, self-benefiting rewards cast doubt about the program’s motive. That scenario offers nonparticipants an opportunity to rationalize their decision to not participate, and lack of guilt translates into feelings of satisfaction about the business.

People will interpret incentives in whatever way best suits their egos, Hult says. And managers, particularly in the hospitality industry, are often reluctant to introduce sustainability initiatives that might negatively influence the guest experience.

 Get The Latest From InnerSelf

For both groups to be happiest, a company should allow customers to choose between a reward that benefits themselves or another organization, Hult says.

Researchers from Cornell University and Florida State University are coauthors of the study in the Journal of Marketing.

Source: Michigan State University

Related Books

{amazonWS:searchindex=Books;keywords=happy customershappy customers 7 30;maxresults=3}


follow InnerSelf on


 Get The Latest By Email



The Day Of Reckoning Has Come For The GOP
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
The Republican party is no longer a pro-America political party. It is an illegitimate pseudo-political party full of radicals and reactionaries whose stated goal is to disrupt, destabilize, and…
Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…