This study aims to investigate the impact of technical (i.e. what is delivered) and functional (i.e. how is it delivered) service quality on consumer happiness in a multichannel environment. In so doing, this study responds to increasing calls from academics (e.g. transformative service research movement) and practitioners to move beyond pure financial measures when deciding how to manage businesses.
With a sample of 809 customers of a medium-sized Belgian mail order firm, within-class regression models tested for the moderating role of channel usage.
Both technical and functional service quality have positive impacts on consumer happiness. However, depending on the channel(s) used, the quality dimension that has the greatest impact on consumer happiness differs.
The findings offer managers insights on how they can create and cultivate consumer happiness by delivering excellent service quality. This study stresses the importance of looking beyond purely financial measures to manage firms, and as such deliver value to consumers, the firm itself and society at large.
This study advances transformative service research by being one of the few empirical studies relating service quality to consumer happiness in today's multichannel environment.
The authors would like to thank the anonymous Belgian mail order firm, which financed the research questionnaire and acknowledge support from the Special Research Fund (BOF, Ghent University, project 01N04011) and the National Bank of Belgium. This article has benefited from the comments and suggestions of participants in the second annual Conference for Positive Marketing. Finally, the authors value the comments of two anonymous reviewers and the editor, which were extremely helpful in strengthening this article.
De Keyser, A. and Lariviere, B. (2014), "How technical and functional service quality drive consumer happiness: Moderating influences of channel usage", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 30-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-04-2013-0109Download as .RIS
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