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The article “Culture shocks” in inter-cultural service encounters was published in 1999. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the scientific discussion about this…
The article “Culture shocks” in inter-cultural service encounters was published in 1999. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the scientific discussion about this issue has developed and which open research questions are still awaiting solutions.
The main contributions of the original article are evaluated in the light of the current state of research. Simultaneously, the scientific development is commented on the basis of the original theoretical and empirical insights.
The original article belongs to those that initiated an extraordinary development of the research field. Aspects of inter-cultural encounters have found increasing attention in service marketing research. However, some fundamental problems of inter-cultural studies are still unresolved, and some of the theoretical and management oriented stimuli of the 1999 paper still seem worthy of consideration.
The retrospective analysis gives insight into the scientific development of the research on inter-cultural service encounters. It identifies relevant development lines, new perspectives and open questions for future research.
Despite the great impact of complaint handling on customer retention and the beneficial usage of complaint information for quality improvements, most companies have great…
Despite the great impact of complaint handling on customer retention and the beneficial usage of complaint information for quality improvements, most companies have great difficulty calculating the profitability of their complaint management. As a consequence of this knowledge deficit, complaint management is often not regarded as a profit centre but as a cost centre, which makes it a probable victim for cost reductions by cutting back its activities. Hence, there is a huge challenge to develop methods and to address this issue. This work contributes to this. It is shown how complaint management profitability (CMP) can be conceptualized and several types of benefits and costs are presented. On this basis several propositions about the current practice of CMP calculation are developed. To test these propositions a comprehensive empirical study was conducted among complaint managers of major German companies in the business‐to‐consumer market. The collected information shows that the assumed CMP knowledge deficit is even higher than expected. To reduce this deficit this article provides an approach to calculate CMP on basis of the repurchase benefit.
Presents the current state of the methodological discussion on the measurement of perceived service quality. Describes two approaches ‐ attribute‐based methods and the…
Presents the current state of the methodological discussion on the measurement of perceived service quality. Describes two approaches ‐ attribute‐based methods and the sequential incident technique (SIT). Outlines the concept and basic assumptions of SIT describes an empirical SIT study applied to measure the quality of perception of guests in club resort. Suggests that the SIT is a valuable complement to the traditional mix of quality measurement methods. Discusses a number of limitations of this method and sets out some managerial implications.
Service customers perceive quality in the moment of interaction with the service provider. In times of globalization, it is important for a growing number of service…
Service customers perceive quality in the moment of interaction with the service provider. In times of globalization, it is important for a growing number of service companies to ask if the perceived service encounter quality differs among customers from different cultures. Particularly needed is information about whether problematic “culture shocks” occur in service encounters due to culture‐bound expectations and perceptions. To answer this question, a model of inter‐cultural service encounter quality is presented. In order to test the assumption of “culture shocks” in inter‐cultural service encounters, an empirical study applying the critical incident technique (CIT) was conducted. The unexpected results of this study lead to a further development of the model presented. This gives insights into why, and under which circumstances, inter‐cultural encounters are perceived as less problematic than intra‐cultural encounters. Finally, managerial implications and open research questions are discussed.
This article aims to examine the negative effects of loyalty programs from the perspective of frustration theory. It seeks to develop a model of customer frustration on…
This article aims to examine the negative effects of loyalty programs from the perspective of frustration theory. It seeks to develop a model of customer frustration on the basis of frustration theory and an exploratory qualitative study.
First, frustration is defined as a special form of dissatisfaction and a general model of frustration in business relationships is developed by evaluating the literature on frustration theory. Second, an explorative and qualitative focus group study among participants of a loyalty program for frequent travelers is conducted. A multi‐level iterative content analysis of the participants' statements reveals the existence of different categories of frustration incidents. Third, the findings of the study are used to develop a system of propositions that generate a specific model of customer frustration in loyalty programs.
Seven categories of frustration incidents that were triggered by the loyalty program and lead to frustration sensation and subsequent frustration behavior, like protest or avoidance, could be identified. With four categories of incidents – inaccessibility, worthlessness, qualification barrier and redemption costs – customers' frustration sensation and behavior are directed on the program itself (program‐related frustration incidents). For the other three – discrimination, economization and defocusing – frustration sensation and behavior also affect the perception of the relationship with the firm (relationship‐related incidents).
The exact differentiation of frustration from related constructs should be the topic of further research. The findings of the empirical study are of limited generalizability because the object of investigation was a single company's loyalty program in a special industry sector. Hence, the introduced propositions should be further specified and tested in a large‐scale quantitative study in different sectors and with a number of companies and programs. Further work is necessary to allow deeper insights into the relationships between the elements in the customer frustration model.
Several implications for planning and implication arise from the results of the study. Management has to make sure that program‐related and relationship‐related negative effects are avoided. That calls for offering only those benefits that represent genuine additional value to customers and for ensuring that the benefits can be claimed at any time and without any additional effort by the customer. Furthermore, the perceived quality of the program should be monitored to obtain prompt information about possible customer frustration and indications of protest (i.e. customer complaints) should be viewed with particular attention.
This paper provides new insights into the so far highly neglected negative side effects of loyalty programs. Also, innovative is the first‐time application of the frustration construct to the analysis of customer behavior in the context of loyalty programs. The contribution is of high value for all who research in the field of customer relationship management and customer loyalty.
States that customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of totalquality management efforts in the service sector and that an essentialprerequisite in achieving this goal is…
States that customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of total quality management efforts in the service sector and that an essential prerequisite in achieving this goal is the detection and prevention of problems which the customer encounters in the service consumption process. Proposes that an instrument is needed which will enable management to gather customer problem information comprehensively and use it as a tool for quality control, planning and service innovation. Presents Service Problem Deployment as a tool which provides a framework for the fulfilment of this task. Defines Service Problem Deployment as a planning and communication system for cross‐functional teams applying a specific set of matrices principally known from the Quality Function Deployment approach. Posits that, as a result of Service Problem Deployment, you can expect the entire service planning and delivery process to be geared consistently to the needs of customers and the goals of problem prevention and customer satisfaction.
Customer clubs belong to the most important and particularly cost‐intensive elements of customer retention systems. By offering specific advantages to club members, they…
Customer clubs belong to the most important and particularly cost‐intensive elements of customer retention systems. By offering specific advantages to club members, they are supposed to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, up to now there is no certainty with respect to the existence and degree of the expected loyalty effects. Thus, there still is also no sufficient foundation for an estimation whether investments in customer clubs can be justified in comparison to several alternatives of gaining new customers or customer retention. To fill this gap in information, this paper focuses on the question of which kind of retention effects of customer clubs might exist and whether there is a scientific evidence of these effects. In the first step, a theoretical model and propositions of different retention effects of customer clubs are developed. Afterwards the results of an empirical study among members of the Volkswagen Customer Club, Germany’s largest automotive customer club are presented. They indicate that customer club satisfaction has a remarkable impact on the customer’s relationship satisfaction and customer retention. Consequently it can be concluded that a customer club certainly is an important issue of retention management.