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Applying Schema Resonance Model in live chat e-service

Xu Song (Communication Studies Program, Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey, USA)
Cindy T. Christen (Department of Journalism and Media Communication, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 16 August 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019




Live chat e-service provides a communication platform for online customers to make information inquiries and receive instantaneous assistance from a service representative. It is important for organizations to explore ways to improve their live chat e-service. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new organization–customer communication model (Schema Resonance Model), explicate how schema resonance can be achieved in live chat e-service, and investigate the impact of schema resonance on live chat e-service effectiveness, efficiency, customer satisfaction and intention of continued use.


A post-test only, between-subjects experiment was conducted. A total of 409 participants completed the experiment sessions, and 389 of these participants were used in the analysis.


Research results suggest schema resonance could improve the time efficiency of the live chat e-service while maintaining e-service effectiveness. Schema resonance could increase customer satisfaction with the overall e-service, the communication approach used by the representative and the information provided.

Research limitations/implications

Because a convenience sample was used in the experiment, results cannot be generalized to all live chat e-service users. Future research should include observation of real-world organization–customer live chat e-service sessions.

Practical implications

Organizations can consider applying the Schema Resonance Model in live chat e-service practices to enhance customer satisfaction and increase representatives’ service productivity.


This research proposes and tests a new organization–customer communication model to explore how organizations can improve live chat e-service in response to customers’ information inquiries.



Song, X. and Christen, C.T. (2019), "Applying Schema Resonance Model in live chat e-service", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 258-281.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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