To read this content please select one of the options below:

Implementing effective customer participation for hedonic and utilitarian services

Kristina Blinda (Department of Marketing, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)
Oliver Schnittka (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark)
Henrik Sattler (Department of Marketing, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)
Jan-Frederik Gräve (Department of Marketing, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 11 June 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019




A distinct view of customer participation in services classifies the characteristics of the participation process as experience- versus outcome-oriented, each of which affects customer participation success uniquely for different types of services (utilitarian vs hedonic). This study aims to investigate if service managers should differentiate and focus on distinct characteristics according to the service types.


Two consumer experiments serve to assess the potential moderating effect of service type on consumer preferences for experience- versus outcome-oriented forms of customer participation.


The two empirical studies affirm the proposed moderating effect of service type on the effect of experience- and outcome-oriented customer participation characteristics. Experience-oriented characteristics work better for hedonic than for utilitarian services, and one study confirms a stronger positive effect of outcome-oriented characteristics for utilitarian services.

Research implications

Further research should replicate the experimental findings with a field study. Furthermore, continued research could analyze the mediators of the interaction of co-production characteristics with the service type in greater detail.

Practical implications

Managers can design the characteristics of the customer participation processes according to the nature of the service (hedonic vs utilitarian) and, thus, maximize customers’ willingness to pay.


This study offers a new perspective on customers’ reactions to customer participation in services: depending on the service type or situation in which a service is being consumed, different customer participation characteristics lead to (financial) success.



Blinda, K., Schnittka, O., Sattler, H. and Gräve, J.-F. (2019), "Implementing effective customer participation for hedonic and utilitarian services", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 316-330.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles