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Article
Publication date: 15 December 2020

Chen Wang, Qiang Wang, Taiwen Feng and Yan Zhang

This study aims to investigate the impacts of service category (utilitarian vs hedonic) on chosen degree of uniqueness (CDOU) and consumers' willingness to pay more…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impacts of service category (utilitarian vs hedonic) on chosen degree of uniqueness (CDOU) and consumers' willingness to pay more (WTPM), as well as the moderating roles of consumers' narcissism trait (high vs low) and processing mode (rational vs experiential) on the relationship between service category and CDOU.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducts one online experiment-questionnaire study and one between-subject lab experiment to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This study finds that consumers are more likely to choose unique choices in hedonic service customization. Consumers' CDOU has a positive effect on their attitudes toward WTPM. In addition, consumers' processing mode moderates the relationship between service category and CDOU.

Practical implications

The findings provide new insights into better understanding the factors affecting the choice of service customization and have significant practical implications. First, consumers' different desire for uniqueness of different service should not be neglected when examining the values of service customization. Second, high-level CDOU is quite prevalent for hedonic (vs utilitarian) service customization, especially for consumers with experiential processing mode.

Originality/value

While previous studies state “need for uniqueness” as a key characteristic of product customization in general, we extend it to intangible service customization and connect it with consumers' WTPM. In addition, the moderating role of individual trait and decision-making processing mode is also checked. Thus, the findings refine the existing understanding of the relationship between uniqueness and service customization.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Ying Ding and Hean Tat Keh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the pros and cons of service standardization (vs customization) from the consumer’s perspective, the key factors influencing…

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4692

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the pros and cons of service standardization (vs customization) from the consumer’s perspective, the key factors influencing consumers’ preference for standardized (vs customized) services and the outcomes of service standardization (vs customization).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a qualitative study and two behavioral experiments to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The authors find that the advantages of service customization include greater perceived control and higher consumer satisfaction. The drawbacks of service customization include greater perceived risk. These findings also suggest that consumers’ preference for standardized (vs customized) service depends on their consumption goal. Specifically, consumers with a hedonic goal tend to prefer customized services, while those with a utilitarian goal tend to prefer standardized services. These effects are moderated by their need for uniqueness.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative and experimental studies in this research reveal the antecedents (utilitarian vs hedonic goal) on consumer preference for service standardization versus customization, as well as the consequences in terms of perceived risk, consumer satisfaction and perceived control. The experimental studies were conducted with Chinese and American consumers, respectively, which lend credence to the robustness of the findings.

Practical implications

Results of the present research provide new insights into service standardization versus customization and have significant practical implications. In particular, service organizations should consider designing the appropriate service mode based on consumers’ characteristics, particularly their consumption goals and their need for uniqueness. If the customers focus on efficiency and functionality, the organization should try to provide standardized services. In contrast, for customers who are seeking fun and a novel experience, the service firm should try to tailor to their hedonic needs.

Originality/value

While previous research identifies “heterogeneity” as a key characteristic of services in general, the present findings qualify this received wisdom. In particular, the authors show that consumers’ preference for service standardization versus customization is a function of their consumption goal and need for uniqueness. Thus, the present findings refine the current understanding of service heterogeneity, which makes a significant contribution to the services marketing literature.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Rhian Silvestro and Paola Lustrato

Mass customization (MC) is a well-established strategy for providing high levels of customization while achieving the scale economies of high volume production. The…

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1786

Abstract

Purpose

Mass customization (MC) is a well-established strategy for providing high levels of customization while achieving the scale economies of high volume production. The purpose of this paper is to explore a new service design configuration, the “mid office,” as a service interface which may support front office customization capabilities while protecting the back office from disruption. The authors posit that it may facilitate MC by enabling product/service and organizational modularity.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a single case study of a large European bank’s payment services, traditionally high volume, low variety operations. The bank adopted a MC strategy which involved the creation of a mid office. The analysis spans product/service and organizational design.

Findings

When combined with menu-driven customization and reuse modularization, the mid office appears to support partial rather than full MC. It facilitates postponement of customization to the assembly stage through service coproduction, organizational decoupling, and the streamlining of employee adaptive behaviors.

Research limitations/implications

The study bears the limitations typical of case study research; however this was appropriate given the exploratory nature of the research into a nascent concept.

Practical implications

The paper identifies a series of design decisions to enable practitioners to choose between full and partial service MC, ensuring design coherence through a mirror effect of service modularity and organizational modularity.

Originality/value

It is argued that the mid office is a service interface which facilitates partial MC by enabling service and organizational modularity. The paper reinterprets the archetypes of full and partial MC in service terms, and proposes a contingent approach to service MC implementation based on service value.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Anu Bask, Mervi Lipponen, Mervi Rajahonka and Markku Tinnilä

Modularity has been identified as one of the most important methods for achieving mass customization. However, service models that apply varying levels of modularity and…

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4480

Abstract

Purpose

Modularity has been identified as one of the most important methods for achieving mass customization. However, service models that apply varying levels of modularity and customization also exist and are appropriate for various business situations. The objective of this paper is to introduce a framework with which different customer service offerings, service production processes, and service production networks can be analyzed in terms of both modularity and customization.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds theory and offers a systematic approach for analyzing service modularity and customization. To illustrate the dimensions of the framework, the authors also provide service examples of the various aspects.

Findings

In the previous literature, the concepts of modularity and customization have often been discussed in an intertwined manner. The authors find that when modularity and customization are regarded as two separate dimensions, and different perspectives– such as the service offering, the service production process, and the service production network – are combined we can create a useful framework for analysis.

Research limitations/implications

Rigorous testing is a subject for future research.

Practical implications

The framework helps companies to analyze their service offerings and to compare themselves with other companies. It seems that in practice many combinations of modularity and customization levels are used in the three perspectives.

Originality/value

This paper develops a framework for analyzing service offerings in terms of modularity and customization. The framework provides a basis for analyzing different combinations of these two aspects from the three perspectives, and herein lies its value.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2018

Edwin N. Torres, Peter Lugosi, Marissa Orlowski and Giulio Ronzoni

Adopting a socio-spatial approach, this study develops a consumer-centric conception of service experience customization. In contrast to existing service customization

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1246

Abstract

Purpose

Adopting a socio-spatial approach, this study develops a consumer-centric conception of service experience customization. In contrast to existing service customization research, which has focused on company-centric approaches, the purpose of this paper is to examine the practices through which consumers use, abuse, subvert, transform, or complement organizational resources to construct their consumption experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical context for this study is a Meetup group: a consumer network organized around members’ shared interests and activities in theme parks. The research utilized participant observation of members’ face-to-face activities during two years and over 80 events, interviews with key informants, and content analysis of online interactions.

Findings

The findings outline how consumers interact across physical and virtual spaces utilizing technologies and material objects. The data are used to propose a new consumer-centric conceptualization of experience customization, distinguishing between three modes: collaborative co-production, cooperative co-creation, and subversive co-creation.

Originality/value

It is argued that the three modes of customization provide a way to understand how consumers mobilize and (re)deploy organizational resources to create experiences that may complement existing service propositions, but may also transform them in ways that challenge the service provider’s original goals and expectations. Furthermore, this study identifies the factors that shape which modes of customization are possible and how they are enacted. Specifically, the discussion examines how experiential complexity, governability, the compatibility of consumer and organizational practices, and the collective mobilization of resources may determine the scope and form of customization.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Pedro S. Coelho and Jörg Henseler

Although practitioners and scholars alike embrace service customization as a possibly powerful management instrument, its impact on customer relationships as well as…

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23570

Abstract

Purpose

Although practitioners and scholars alike embrace service customization as a possibly powerful management instrument, its impact on customer relationships as well as contingencies for its effective application are not well understood. Drawing from relationship marketing and exchange theory, this paper aims to develop a model of customer relationship outcomes of service customization and the efficacy of service customization.

Design/methodology/approach

Two large‐scale, representative, cross‐sectional studies in different service industries based on the European Customer Satisfaction Index framework are conducted, and PLS path modeling is applied to test the model.

Findings

Customization increases perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, customer trust, and ultimately customer loyalty toward a service provider. Customization has both direct and mediated effects on customer loyalty and interacts with the effects of customer satisfaction and customer trust on loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

Service customization is a viable instrument for relationship marketing. Its efficacy depends on customer satisfaction and customer trust. While this study solely focuses on the impact of service customization, future research could assess the relative importance of service customization in the presence of other relationship marketing instruments.

Practical implications

Service providers can use service customization as an effective instrument for achieving not only higher customer satisfaction, but also higher customer loyalty. Service customization is most effective for companies that have deficits in satisfying their customers, while at the same time their customer relationships are characterized by a high level of trust. These results help managers to decide upon resource allocation to enhance customer satisfaction, trust and loyalty.

Originality/value

This paper investigates the simultaneous effects of service customization on customer loyalty and other relationships variables and offers new insights relatively to the nature and size of customization effects. It fills an important gap in the knowledge of customization outcomes, and clarifies under which circumstances service customization is most effective. The paper is of great value for service providers that face the decision whether to customize their offering or not.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2013

Yonggui Wang, Jay Kandampully and He (Michael) Jia

The aim of this article is to examine the interaction effect of customization mode and regulatory focus on the “tailoring” outcomes of customized services in both the…

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2444

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to examine the interaction effect of customization mode and regulatory focus on the “tailoring” outcomes of customized services in both the number of options retained and consumer evaluations.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments investigate the interaction between customization mode and consumer regulatory focus, together with mediating and moderating factors.

Findings

An interaction effect of customization mode and regulatory focus exists: it significantly influences the number of options retained, and prevention‐focused consumers retain more options in the final customized offering than promotion‐focused consumers in subtractive customization, whereas this effect is reduced in additive customization; it significantly affects how consumers evaluate the customization service with regard to task enjoyment and attitudes toward products; and it is fully mediated by task enjoyment and positively moderated by product familiarity.

Originality/value

This article provides an important contribution to service customization design and regulatory focus theory by shedding light on the interaction between customization mode and consumer regulatory focus and revealing how this interaction affects the decision outcomes of customization services.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Chao Zhang, Shuang Ma, Songming Li and Arjun Singh

This paper aims to investigate multidimensional customer engagement behaviors (CEBs) as antecedents of action loyalty in hospitality contexts and examine service

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate multidimensional customer engagement behaviors (CEBs) as antecedents of action loyalty in hospitality contexts and examine service conditions that inhibit and facilitate the former relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper tests a holistic framework based on transaction data from 5,855 active members of a hotel firm. The hypotheses are examined using ordinary least squares regression.

Findings

By integrating transaction-related CEBs with non-transaction-related CEBs, this paper found that three CEB constructs (i.e. feedback, mobilizing and cross-buying) contribute significantly to action loyalty in hospitality contexts. These effects vary depending on the inhibitor (service failure) and the facilitator (service customization).

Practical implications

Hotel managers should value customer engagement as a marketing tool to retain customers. When engaged customers encounter service failure and customization, managers can react differently to facilitate consumers’ action loyalty.

Originality/value

Contrary to prior studies focusing on the effects of general CEBs on attitudinal loyalty, this study examines the diverse impacts of multidimensional CEBs on customers’ action loyalty and confirms boundary conditions to coordinate the effects between CEBs from a hotel firm’s perspective.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Yan Kou, Zhong Shuai and Samart Powpaka

This study investigated the effect of adding a customer's name onto a standard product on the customer's product attitude from the perspective of the name-letter effect…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated the effect of adding a customer's name onto a standard product on the customer's product attitude from the perspective of the name-letter effect and psychological ownership theory.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 2 experiment was conducted to test the name effect in customization services. The main effects, mediation effects and moderation effects were analyzed using SPSS 22.0 and PROCESS 2.16.3.

Findings

Adding customers' personal names onto a standard product positively affected their attitude toward the product, and these effects were mediated by psychological ownership. Furthermore, customers' responses were moderated by self-threat, whereby threatening customers' self-concept enhanced their attitude toward the product that had their name on it.

Originality/value

This study found a positive name effect that is applicable to customization services. It also identified mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this effect. Therefore this study extends previous studies on customization services that have solely focusing on complex product personalization by focusing on a service that requires less effort and a more basic customization service. This study also extends previous findings about name-letter effects by focusing on the associations between an individual and an object that are induced by shared name letters and by studying how directly adding a personal name onto an object can influence these associations.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Gabriel Vidor, Janine Fleith de Medeiros, Flavio Sanson Fogliatto and Mitchel M. Tseng

– This paper aims to propose a method to determine which mass customization (MC) characteristics should be prioritized in mass-customized service design.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a method to determine which mass customization (MC) characteristics should be prioritized in mass-customized service design.

Design/methodology/approach

Looking at manufacturing MC systems and conducting a literature review, it is not possible to observe a methodological step to define customized service design as the one we propose in this work. Results show a systematic classification of MC characteristics based on MC enablers and service enablers. These enablers are related by a quality function deployment (QFD) matrix and rewritten using a reverse QFD procedure.

Findings

In the end, it was possible to determine which characteristics should be prioritized in mass-customized services.

Research limitations/implications

Two case studies were performed: one with an electric power supplier and another one with a university.

Practical implications

It shows that despite easy customization, organization is not always interest in service features customization. The explanation in these two cases is customization cost, which compared to the benefit does not seem advantageous for the organization.

Originality/value

This paper creates a methodology to design a first phase in customized services in Latin American services and that is the original contribution.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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