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Customer service experiences: Developing and applying a sequentialincident laddering technique

Uta Jüttner (School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Dorothea Schaffner (Business School, University of Applied Sciences Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland)
Katharina Windler (Business School, University of Applied Sciences Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland)
Stan Maklan (School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 24 May 2013

12032

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply the sequential incident laddering technique as a novel approach for measuring customer service experiences. The proposed approach aims to correspond with the concept's theoretical foundation in the extant literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies the sequential incident laddering technique to measure customer service experiences. The technique integrates two well‐established methods in service marketing: sequential incident and laddering techniques. The data collected from 41 customers in a hotel and restaurant experience context illustrate that the method corresponds with the key themes of the proposed experience concept and experience formation process.

Findings

Applying the proposed technique reveals first, the customer's cognitive and emotional responses to company stimuli. Second, the salient customer cognitions and emotions across several episodes of the service interaction process are identified. Third, the personal values which drive the customer's service experience are disclosed.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical study is a first illustration of the proposed measurement approach in only one company based on a limited sample size. The methodological contributions and development opportunities for further applications are set out for different contexts and in combination with other methods.

Practical implications

The proposed method integrates customer and company‐related constructs. Therefore, the data collected can provide managers with guidelines for customer service experience design based on detailed customer feedback.

Originality/value

The paper proposes an innovative measurement approach to customer service experiences which can support knowledge development in an important marketing area.

Keywords

Citation

Jüttner, U., Schaffner, D., Windler, K. and Maklan, S. (2013), "Customer service experiences: Developing and applying a sequentialincident laddering technique", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 5/6, pp. 738-769. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090561311306769

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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