The purpose of this paper is to profile wayfinders into homogeneous sub-groups according to their wayfinding ability, and to investigate the differences between the clusters identified and their evaluations of satisfaction.
This study uses survey data collected in a hospital in the Northern part of Italy. The survey questionnaire assessed the participants’ self-estimation of wayfinding ability in terms of wayfinding competence, wayfinding strategy and wayfinding anxiety, as well as the wayfinder’s satisfaction.
The findings propose that three factors, namely, individual orientation skills, confidence in servicescape elements and anxiety control, contribute to defining wayfinding ability. Based on these factors, cluster analysis reveals three profiles of wayfinders, as follows: the Easy Goings, the Do-it-yourselves and the Insecures. Group differentiation comes from wayfinding ability and customer satisfaction levels.
The results of this study advance the segmentation literature by analyzing different types of wayfinding ability that can lead to different satisfaction levels.
These findings will help service managers improve servicescape design and help them formulate effective targeting strategies.
While previous research outlined the importance of some factors such as gender differences, familiarity with the service environment and cognitive approaches, this study recommends the examination of the profile of visitors to the service setting to allow them to find their way more effectively.
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