This paper investigates the reasons for the differences in customers' acceptance of service robots (CASR) in actual experience and credence service settings for the following two aspects: (1) different antecedents affecting CASR and (2) different customer perceptions of their own characteristics (role clarity and ability) and service robot characteristics (anthropomorphism and ability).
The data were collected using online surveys in an experience service setting (Hotel, N = 426) and a credence service setting (Hospital, N = 406). Differences in experience and credence service settings were examined using two statistical methods, namely, PLS-SEM to test the differences in antecedents affecting CASR and independent-samples t-tests to test the differences in customer perceptions of their own characteristics and service robot characteristics.
The results indicate that customers in an experience (vs credence) service setting have stronger positive attitudes toward and a greater intention to use service robots. Further, this paper finds there are two key reasons for the differences in CASR. The first is different antecedents. Perceived usefulness is positively influenced by the anthropomorphism of a service robot and customer ability in the experience service setting, but is influenced not in the credence service setting. Conversely, service robot autonomy positively relates to perceived ease of use in the credence service setting, but does not in the experience service setting. The second reason for CASR differences is different customer perceptions. Customers' ability and perceived ease of use are higher, while their perception of anthropomorphism of the service robot is lower in the experience (vs credence) service setting.
This study helps explain why there are differences in the CASR in different settings and presents two perspectives: (1) antecedents' affecting CASR and (2) customer perceptions of their own as well as service robot characteristics.
Funding: This study has been funded by the Center for Japanese Studies of Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications (Number: K2020-215).
Li, Y., Wang, C. and Song, B. (2022), "Customer acceptance of service robots under different service settings", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-06-2022-0127
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