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Book part
Publication date: 10 November 2010

Stephen L. Vargo, Robert F. Lusch, Melissa Archpru Akaka and Yi He

Abstract

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Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-728-5

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Inger Roos, Margareta Friman and Bo Edvardsson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether or not emotions experienced in customer relationships – linked to actual behavior – could enhance understanding of…

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2320

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether or not emotions experienced in customer relationships – linked to actual behavior – could enhance understanding of their future development.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of individual‐level relationships between customers and telecom operators are investigated. The empirical data consist of 113 switching stories reported during 81 interviews with telecom customers.

Findings

In the analysis, emotional experiences are related to customers' activity or passivity and to the stability (switching or not) in the relationships. The most important research contribution is the identification of different emotions related to actual behavior. Less stable customers are pessimistic about the operators and show nervousness, while stable customers may have initially been depressed in their relationships, becoming more relaxed and optimistic over time. Emotions do not seem to have the capacity in themselves to cause stability or instability, but they confirm through their connection to different types of trigger whether the relationship will be stable or unstable.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the present study are based on a longitudinal empirical study, but only in one industry. Although, the telecom industry may provide a very fruitful context for the longitudinal study of stability in customer relationships because of the turbulence it has experienced during the last decade, the industry representation is narrow.

Practical implications

Customers do not sever their emotional ties with the previous relationship when they enter the new one. On the contrary, they linger in the switched‐from relationship at least at first, which is indicated in the various emotional expressions they use. The present study takes some initial steps towards enhancing understanding of the dynamism in providing an insight into customers' differing emotional reactions connected to triggers during one and the same relationship.

Originality/value

Taking a longitudinal approach from the customers' perspective produces a set boundaries of customer relationships that may not coincide with the set boundaries seen from the service providers' perspective. According to the findings of the present study, it seems almost impossible to understand customer relationships without following customers on an individual level in both previous and current relationships. Despite the fact that dynamism in customer relationships is widely discussed in previous research, few studies have applied such a perspective.

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Journal of Service Management, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2013

Erno Selos, Teemu Laine, Inger Roos, Petri Suomala and Lauri Pitkänen

This study aims to focus on the switching path analysis technique (SPAT) application to enlarge the understanding of customer switching from the business to consumer…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on the switching path analysis technique (SPAT) application to enlarge the understanding of customer switching from the business to consumer (B‐to‐C) context to the processes of business‐to‐business (B‐to‐B) supplier switches.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a theory extension of SPAT, with nine (9) supplier switching cases in different B‐to‐B settings. The cases shed light also on the actual triggers and determinants of the B‐to‐B switches.

Findings

The study proves the applicability of SPAT in B‐to‐B settings. The B‐to‐B context adds complexity, forming a relationship flow where many driving factors act for switching. Thus, the findings suggest that a comprehensive analysis of the triggers and determinants is required to understand the switching processes. In particular, the characteristics of the active/passive behaviour should be analysed separately in the customer and in the old and new suppliers.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical findings are exploratory in nature. Further research should refine the characteristics of active and passive behaviour at the levels of the relationship, the companies and the individuals to comprehend the notion of the influential trigger in SPAT. Further research should also address the wider topic of the patterns of certain triggers and determinants that actually lead to unstable supplier relationships.

Practical implications

The B‐to‐B supplier switches appear to be complex processes. The supplier should be able to be constantly aware of the major changes in the customer's business. Based on this awareness, the supplier may actively affect the development of the relationship to avoid unwanted switches.

Originality/value

The paper combines the relatively mature research stream of B‐to‐C supplier switches and access to B‐to‐B supplier‐switching cases. The theory contribution of the paper is the extension of the theory to the B‐to‐B context, with relevant research implications.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Inger Roos and Margareta Friman

This study aims at deepening understanding of the role of emotion in customer switching processes and identifying the relative frequency of negative discrete emotions in…

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3944

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at deepening understanding of the role of emotion in customer switching processes and identifying the relative frequency of negative discrete emotions in terms of different triggers.

Design/methodology/approach

Customers of Swedish telecommunications services were interviewed about their switching processes. The interviews were analyzed according to switching path analysis technique, which divides relationships into different stages in accordance with their relevance to the relationship strength. The ultimate focus is on self‐reported emotions embedded in the switching process.

Findings

The main finding was that the identified emotions were located in the trigger part of the relationship, and was expressed by the respondents during the switching process in form of annoyance, anxiety, disappointment, dissatisfaction, distress, depression, rage, stress and tension.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical study is conducted within the telecom industry which may influence the switching frequency because of the deregulations in the beginning of this decade. This interpretation of valence and activation was based on theoretical assumptions about where various discrete emotions are located on a continuum.

Originality/value

The paper offers insight into the role of emotion in customer relationship.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Inger Roos and Anders Gustafsson

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between active/passive customer behavior and loyalty (responses to switching triggers) in customer relationships.

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4406

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between active/passive customer behavior and loyalty (responses to switching triggers) in customer relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal study (seven years) is undertaken of the roles of various triggers and active/passive customers in analyzing the processes that lead to customers changing their service provider in the context of the Swedish telecommunications retail industry.

Findings

Triggers affect customers' evaluations of service in different ways and cause varying kinds of behavior, depending on whether the customers are active or passive in their customer relationships.

Originality/value

The study offers new insights into the difference between active and passive customers, which facilitates the design of loyalty‐enhancing communications between providers and their customers.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Inger Roos, Anders Gustafsson and Bo Edvardsson

The purpose of this study is to compare the company's perception of their business to the customers' dynamic view of their relationships with the same company.

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2406

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare the company's perception of their business to the customers' dynamic view of their relationships with the same company.

Design/methodology/approach

Customers are interviewed about their perceptions of the relationships. The interviews are analyzed by using SPAT (switching path analysis technique) that divides the relationships into different parts with priority to their relevance for the strength of the relationships.

Findings

Customers who experience triggers in their relationships evaluate their mortgage provider differently than those who do not. The construct that influences the dynamism and the differing evaluations is defined as the trigger function. Three trigger categories are identified and described: the situational, the influential, and the reactional. In order to further verify the dynamic aspect of the customer relationship, evidence of customers' dynamic evaluations and of how the company's own perceptions of the business differ from those of its customers is provided.

Research limitations/implications

Regarding the generalization of the results for services the findings are limited to one industry; the financial.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the understanding of the dynamism in the customer relationships of a housing‐mortgage company.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2008

Inger Roos and Bo Edvardsson

The purpose of this paper is to describe customers' perception of customer support service related to the core service in telecomminucations customer relationships. The…

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3947

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe customers' perception of customer support service related to the core service in telecomminucations customer relationships. The customers' perceptions of the support‐service stem from their contacts with the support service and are related to the importance for the relationship with the telecommunications provider.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a modified version of Switching Path Analysis Technique (SPAT) in its analysis to create the necessary data for carrying out a dynamic analysis – in other words customers' experiences of the customer‐support service over time in their relationship with the service provider. The modification, called the SPAT mechanism, only focused on the difference between driving and non‐driving factors related to the relationship strength.

Findings

From the service perspective it was found that some of the customers in the present study were particularly focused on the customer‐support, which made it dominate the relationships. At that special time, their telecommunications service predominantly comprised customer support, which was more important than the core service. At other times, when the support‐service focus was not as strong, the priority was likely to be different. Consequently, the composition of the telecommunications service and the core service is according to customers' expressions dynamic and only the customer perspective has the authority to define it.

Research limitations/implications

Research on service has been going on for several decades, and thus offers a great variety of findings from cross‐sectional studies. Therefore, the present study's presentation of only one kind of service could be considered limited.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful information on customers' perception of customer support service related to the core service in telecommunications customer relationships.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Inger Roos, Anders Gustafsson and Bo Edvardsson

The purpose of this study is to enhance understanding of the club's role in the customer relationships of a telecommunications company by re‐considering the concepts of…

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2491

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to enhance understanding of the club's role in the customer relationships of a telecommunications company by re‐considering the concepts of frequency and commitment in a telecom‐customer club.

Design/methodology/approach

We interviewed telecom customers that were members of a Swedish telecom company's customer club. The approach was to understand the customer evaluation of the customer club. We conducted 44 in‐depth interviews with members of the loyalty club.

Findings

We found an umbrella concept for the club regarding loyalty: a keeping function, which divided the customer club in two ways: the affective role makes the customer stay with the company and the calculative role with a more inferred loyalty function. The expressions that were not connected to loyalty is the attracting function.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of our qualitative study include the small sample size, and it represents only one kind of industry and one company.

Originality/value

The first contribution of this study is the new perspective of customer clubs in the telecommunications industry on customer relationships. The implication is that customers do not always consider all parts of the club when they stay loyal, and not always think about it when they plan future behaviour.The second contribution is the result regarding re‐consideration of the frequency concept. Bearing in mind the delimitations, the calculative role dominated the affective role. Thirty‐three of the 44 members said that their club was of minor importance in terms of relationship continuation. The calculative role is, accordingly, dominant.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

Bo Edvardsson and Inger Roos

The traditional critical incident technique (CIT) and variants of the same have frequently been applied in service research for several decades. The technique has often…

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9852

Abstract

The traditional critical incident technique (CIT) and variants of the same have frequently been applied in service research for several decades. The technique has often been used to capture data on and analyse both negative and positive critical incidents. While one technique displays hosts of critical incidents in benchmark‐type series (SIT), another variant describes the dynamism in one discrete critical incident and a third the dynamism of the configuration of critical incidents (SPAT). In this article the different variants are discussed in relation to psychological theory focusing on the concepts of time, history and memory. To be able to analyse the criticality from the individual customer’s perspective, we argue that one must understand the significance of critical incidents in the light of human memory mechanisms and judgement processes. The discussion forms the basis for suggesting a new, tentative framework for analysing the criticality of critical incidents. We call this criticality critical incident technique (CCIT).

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Bo Edvardsson, Anders Gustafsson and Inger Roos

Focusing on one main research question: how is the phenomenon “service” portrayed within service research?, the aim is to describe and analyze how the concept of service…

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17821

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing on one main research question: how is the phenomenon “service” portrayed within service research?, the aim is to describe and analyze how the concept of service is defined, how service characteristics express the concept, the relevance of the existing “service portraits”, and to suggest a new way of portraying service.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature search was carried out in order to find definitions of the service concept and expressions about the service characteristics. Databases were searched and 34 articles were used for further analysis. The same procedure was carried out for service characteristics. The articles that were chosen by the databases were reviewed thoroughly and those most relevant to the search topic were chosen. Sixteen leading scholars who had been shaping the service research field were also asked two basic questions.

Findings

The analysis of the concept of service and service characteristics shows that the definitions are too narrow and the characteristics are outdated as generic service characteristics. It is suggested that service is used as a perspective. When service is portrayed as a perspective, the approach is clear: it depends on who is portraying the service and on the purpose. If service characteristics are outdated, when will they stop being used in teaching? It is no longer necessary to defend services as being different from goods. Service is a research area in its own right.

Research limitations/implications

The number of articles and books used in the analysis can be criticized for not including enough relevant literature. The keywords used when searching in databases should also have included other words to capture the concept of service and service characteristics.

Practical implications

The practical implications are not so clear since this article is a contribution to the ongoing discussion about future directions of service research. However, it is suggested that service is a perspective on value creation and that value creation is best understood from the lens of the customer based on value in use.

Originality/value

This paper contributes with a literature review, a discussion on what service portraits are, and describes service as a perspective on value creation through the lens of the customer.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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