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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Mohammadali Zolfagharian, Fuad Hasan and Pramod Iyer

The purpose of this study is to explore how service employee choice and use of language to initiate and maintain conversation with second generation immigrant customers…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore how service employee choice and use of language to initiate and maintain conversation with second generation immigrant customers (SGIC) influence customer evaluation of the service encounter, and whether such employee acts may lead customers to employee switching, branch switching (i.e. switching from one to another location within the same brand) and/or brand switching (switching to another brand altogether).

Design/methodology/approach

A scenario-based between-subjects experiment of 4 (employee: match, adapt, bilingual, no adapt) × 2 (fast food, post office) × 2 (English, Spanish) was used to examine the SGIC response to service encounters in different contexts arising from employee choice and use of language. These scenarios were complemented with a series of measurement scales. The instruments, which were identical except in scenario sections, were administered on 788 second-generation Mexican American customers, resulting in 271 (fast food) and 265 (post office) effective responses.

Findings

In both service contexts, when employees initiated conversation that matched (English or Spanish) the customer expectations, the SGIC perceptions of interaction quality was higher as compared to other scenarios, leading to subsequent satisfaction and lower switching intentions (employee and branch). Similarly, interaction quality was higher for adapt scenarios as compared to bilingual or no adapt scenarios. Bilingual customers perceived higher interaction quality in bilingual/no-adapt scenarios when compared to monolingual customers. In both contexts, service quality and satisfaction were associated with employee switching and branch switching, but not with brand switching.

Research limitations/implications

By utilizing interaction adaptation theory to conceptualize the effects of employee choice and use of language, the study grounds the model and the hypotheses in theoretical bases and provides empirical corroboration of the theory. The study also contributes toward understanding the service encounters from the perspective of an overlooked group of vulnerable customers: second-generation immigrants.

Practical implications

Service research cautions service providers that a key factor in attracting and retaining customers is having detailed communication guidelines and empowering employees to follow those guidelines. The findings go a step further and underscore the critical role of communication from a managerial standpoint. It is in the interest of service organizations to develop guidelines that will govern employee choice and use of language during service encounters. So doing is commercially justified because unguided employee choice and use of language can result in customer switching and attrition.

Social implications

The juxtaposition between assigned versus asserted identities is an important one not only in social sciences but also within service research. As service encounters grow increasingly multicultural, the need to educate employees on multiculturally appropriate communication etiquette rises in importance. The findings should encourage service firms and local governments to develop formal communication guidelines that begin with multiculturalism as a central tenet permeating all aspects of employee–employee, employee–customer and customer–customer communications. Service providers ought to take precautionary measures to ensure customers will be empowered to assert their identities in their own terms, if they wish so.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates how employee choice and use of language during service encounters may thwart SGIC, who might view such employee behaviors as acts of identity assignment and, consequently, feel stigmatized, marginalized and offended; and links such customer experiences to switching behavior through mediatory mechanisms.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Hyun Sik Kim and Beomjoon Choi

Creating superior customer experience quality is important to firm success, but the link between customer experience quality and customer-to-customer interaction quality

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Abstract

Purpose

Creating superior customer experience quality is important to firm success, but the link between customer experience quality and customer-to-customer interaction quality – a critical component of customer experience quality in mass service settings – has seldom been spotlighted. This paper aims to propose and test a theoretical model of the relationship among three types of customer-to-customer interaction quality (friend-interaction, neighboring customer-interaction and audience-interaction) and customer experience quality. They also examine these variables’ effects on customer citizenship behavior in mass service settings.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected data through a self-administered survey. The proposed relationships were tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Friend-interaction and audience-interaction quality perceptions significantly influence customer experience quality, with neighboring customer-interaction quality perception significant only for low communication quality. We find that enhancing customer experience quality is crucial to promoting citizenship behavior in mass service settings.

Practical implications

Neighboring customer-interaction quality perception has a significant effect on customer experience quality, particularly in a low communication quality situation. Therefore, service marketers should provide effective neighboring customer-interaction management schemes to enhance experience quality together with friend-interaction and audience-interaction management schemes when customers experience low communication quality. Additionally, service marketers should focus on enhancing communication quality only when anticipating low neighboring customer-interaction quality.

Originality/value

The findings highlight the effects of three types of customer-to-customer interaction quality on customer citizenship behavior through experience quality perception in mass service settings, and the effect of neighboring customer-interaction quality perception on customer experience quality, moderated by communication quality.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 May 2020

Di Wu, Lei Wu, Alexis Palmer, Dr Kinshuk and Peng Zhou

Interaction content is created during online learning interaction for the exchanged information to convey experience and share knowledge. Prior studies have mainly focused…

Abstract

Purpose

Interaction content is created during online learning interaction for the exchanged information to convey experience and share knowledge. Prior studies have mainly focused on the quantity of online learning interaction content (OLIC) from the perspective of types or frequency, resulting in a limited analysis of the quality of OLIC. Domain concepts as the highest form of interaction are shown as entities or things that are particularly relevant to the educational domain of an online course. The purpose of this paper is to explore a new method to evaluate the quality of OLIC using domain concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes a novel approach to automatically evaluate the quality of OLIC regarding relevance, completeness and usefulness. A sample of OLIC corpus is classified and evaluated based on domain concepts and textual features.

Findings

Experimental results show that random forest classifiers not only outperform logistic regression and support vector machines but also their performance is improved by considering the quality dimensions of relevance and completeness. In addition, domain concepts contribute to improving the performance of evaluating OLIC.

Research limitations/implications

This paper adopts a limited sample to train the classification models. It has great benefits in monitoring students’ knowledge performance, supporting teachers’ decision-making and even enhancing the efficiency of school management.

Originality/value

This study extends the research of domain concepts in quality evaluation, especially in the online learning domain. It also has great potential for other domains.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

One-Ki Daniel Lee, Ramakrishna Ayyagari, Farzaneh Nasirian and Mohsen Ahmadian

The rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice-assistant systems (VASs) has created many opportunities for individuals to use VASs for various purposes in…

Abstract

Purpose

The rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice-assistant systems (VASs) has created many opportunities for individuals to use VASs for various purposes in their daily lives. However, traditional quality success factors, such as information quality and system quality, may not be sufficient in explaining the adoption and use of AI-based VASs. This study aims to propose interaction quality as an additional, yet more important quality measure that leads to trust in an AI-based VAS and its adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose a research model that highlights the importance of interaction quality and trust as underlying mechanisms in the adoption of AI-based VASs. Based on survey methodology and data from 221 respondents, the proposed research model is tested with a partial least squares approach.

Findings

The results suggest that interaction quality and trust are critical factors influencing the adoption of AI-based VASs. The findings also indicate that the impacts of traditional quality factors (i.e. information quality and system quality) occur through interaction quality in the context of AI-based VASs.

Originality/value

This research adds interaction quality as a new quality factor to the traditional quality factors in the information systems success model. Further, given the interactive nature of VASs, the authors use social response theory to explain the importance of the trust mechanism when individuals interact with AI-based VASs.

Contribution to Impact

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Su Qin, Li Zhao and Xu Yi

The paper investigates the impacts of customer‐service interactions on relationship quality in retailing services in China.

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper investigates the impacts of customer‐service interactions on relationship quality in retailing services in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The study proposes a conceptual model of the relationship between the construct of “customer service” (conceptualised in terms of customers' interactions with service personnel and customers' interactions with the service environment) and the construct of relationship quality (conceptualised in terms of satisfaction, trust, and commitment). The hypothesised relationships are then tested in an empirical study with a sample of 295 retailing customers in China.

Findings

Both kinds of interactions (with service personnel and with the service environment) are shown to have a direct positive impact on relationship quality. However, the customers' interactions with the environment are found to have a greater impact than their interactions with service personnel on customers' perceptions of relationship quality. Moreover, “environment rules” (such as pricing policy and warranty) are found to be more important than “environment facilities” (ambience) in enhancing the quality of interaction between the customer and the service environment.

Research limitations/implications

The model is tested only in the Chinese retailing sector. Nevertheless, the findings provide valuable managerial implications for retail service in the Chinese market.

Practical implications

The study identifies several practical issues of interest to managers and contact personnel in the retailing industry.

Originality/value

The study incorporates the important notion of “environment rules” (such as pricing policy and warranty) to the construct of “interaction quality between customers and the service environment”. The results clearly show that such “environment rules” represent an indispensable aspect of the service environment to be taken into account when measuring the customer's interaction with the service environment.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2020

Beomjoon Choi and Hyun Sik Kim

The current study aims to explore the relationships between three kinds of customer-to-customer (C2C) interaction quality and brand loyalty via customer promotion and…

Abstract

Purpose

The current study aims to explore the relationships between three kinds of customer-to-customer (C2C) interaction quality and brand loyalty via customer promotion and prevention emotions.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to test the model, we gathered self-administered data through an online survey. The relationships were examined using structural equation modelling (SEM).

Findings

The findings show that the influence of customer-to-customer interaction quality on promotion/prevention emotion varies: friend-interaction quality evokes both promotion emotion (high-arousal feelings) and prevention emotion (low-arousal feelings), whereas neighbouring customer-interaction quality elicits promotion emotion, and audience-interaction quality elicits prevention emotion. Moreover, the findings show that enhancing both promotion and prevention emotions is crucial to improve customer attitudinal loyalty in mass service settings, and the strength of the link from promotion emotion to attitudinal loyalty is stronger than that from prevention emotion.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that marketers should focus on facilitating effective friend- and neighbouring customer-interaction to enhance promotion emotion.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a stream of research on customer-to-customer interaction by exploring the relative influences of three kinds of customer-to-customer interaction quality on customer attitudinal loyalty via post-consumption emotions.

Article
Publication date: 19 May 2020

Quynh Xuan Tran, My Van Dang and Nadine Tournois

This study aims to investigate the effects of servicescape on customer satisfaction and loyalty – centered on social interaction and service experience in the café setting.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the effects of servicescape on customer satisfaction and loyalty – centered on social interaction and service experience in the café setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study were collected from approximately 1,800 customers at 185 coffee stores located in the three largest cities in Vietnam through the self-administered questionnaires.

Findings

The research findings pointed out the significant impacts of café servicescape on social interaction quality, including customer-to-employee interaction (CEI) and customer-to-customer interaction (CCI). Social interactions and servicescape were shown to remarkably influence customer experience quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, the study confirmed the interrelation between service experience, satisfaction and loyalty in the café setting.

Practical implications

This study provides marketers and service managers a deeper understanding of improving customer satisfaction and loyalty through the control of servicescape attributes and social interactions in café contexts.

Originality/value

This research explores the significant impacts of café servicescape on social interaction quality (CEI and CCI). Additionally, it provides insights within the role of social interactions to customer’s affective and behavioral responses in service settings, especially the CCI quality.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2020

Jiyoung Kim, Sunmee Choi and Drew Martin

Applying social capital and the social exchange theories to customer-to-customer (C2C) interactions, this study aims to propose that interaction quality perceptions affect…

Abstract

Purpose

Applying social capital and the social exchange theories to customer-to-customer (C2C) interactions, this study aims to propose that interaction quality perceptions affect the customer-to-service provider’s interaction quality perceptions in a prolonged, close-proximity service setting. Examining this exogenous dimension, the study also tests socio-emotional support perception’s mediating effect and customer proactiveness’ moderating effect.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts and modifies existing general services of C2C interaction dimensions to fit the health-care context. An in-person survey of 192 neurosurgery inpatients and their care-giving companions (both considered health-care customers) provides data to validate the dimensions and test the model. Structural equation modeling and moderated regression test the hypotheses.

Findings

Results show that affirmative C2C interactions positively affect the customer’s perceived socio-emotional support, whereas negative C2C interactions show no significant impact. Greater socio-emotional support acuity improves customers’ assurance and empathy quality perceptions about the provider’s service. Customer proactiveness moderates C2C interaction dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends the research of the C2C interaction to include their effect on service quality perceptions in a prolonged close-proximity service setting. Study results validate C2C interaction’s dimensions specific to an inpatient setting. Finally, this study extends the application of social capital theory and social exchange theory to C2C settings.

Practical implications

Findings emphasize the importance of managing C2C interactions during prolonged, close-proximity service delivery processes to improve customer perceptions of service quality. Results suggest that managers should monitor customer proactiveness to maximize positive C2C interactions’ positive effects while minimizing negative C2C interactions.

Originality/value

Prior service quality studies tend to focus on managing internal resources (staff, processes or physical environment); however, this study examines how the interactions among external resources create a halo effect and impact customers’ service quality perceptions. Results inform methods to improve their quality perceptions by better managing exogenous factors. The study also responds to calls for research on how C2C interactions affect functional service contexts (vs hedonic service contexts).

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2008

Cheryl Ganesan‐Lim, Rebekah Russell‐Bennett and Tracey Dagger

This study aims to develop and test a service‐based demographic framework for studying service quality perceptions. Specifically, the effect of level of service contact…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop and test a service‐based demographic framework for studying service quality perceptions. Specifically, the effect of level of service contact and key demographic variables of age, gender and income on service quality perceptions is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 224 customers of high‐ and low‐contact passenger transport services were surveyed using a self‐administered questionnaire.

Findings

The findings indicated that service quality perceptions differed according to the level of contact inherent to the service. Consumer age was also found to affect service quality perceptions; however, no differences in service quality perceptions on the basis of gender or income were found.

Research implications/limitations

The results of the study enhance the understanding of service quality perceptions and provide useful insight for the management and delivery of service quality. Overall, the results suggest that managers in the train travel industry need to take the level of contact as well as the views of certain demographic segments into account if they want to maximize perceived service. Demographics provide managers with a means of determining which segments of the market are feasible in terms of achieving greater market penetration. The findings of this study show the importance of considering variables relating to individual characteristic or the service itself when investigating service quality.

Originality/value

Prior research has not examined empirically whether service quality dimensions vary on the basis of service type; thus, this paper contributes to knowledge in this field.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2013

Beom Joon Choi and Hyun Sik Kim

Creating superior customer satisfaction has been considered one of the keys to the firm's success and hence, the antecedents of customer satisfaction have been examined…

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Abstract

Purpose

Creating superior customer satisfaction has been considered one of the keys to the firm's success and hence, the antecedents of customer satisfaction have been examined numerous times. However, the link between customer satisfaction and peer‐to‐peer quality, which is deemed a critical component of customer experience quality, has not been spotlighted despite its importance. The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a theoretical model of the relationship among outcome quality, interaction quality, peer‐to‐peer quality, and customer satisfaction as well as these variables’ impacts on customer loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the model, the authors conducted a survey and collected self‐administered data for data analysis. The proposed relationships were then tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The findings indicate that outcome quality, interaction quality, and peer‐to‐peer quality perceptions significantly influence customer satisfaction, which, in turn, greatly influences customer loyalty. This study shows that outcome quality, interaction quality, and peer‐to‐peer quality should be considered pivotal elements in creating customer satisfaction and that customer satisfaction should be treated as a strategic variable to enhance customer loyalty.

Originality/value

The present study examines the role of familiarity as a moderating variable, finding that outcome quality has a significant influence on customer satisfaction only when patients are familiar with services provided by a hospital. That is, the influence of outcome quality on customer satisfaction becomes greater as customers become more familiar with hospital services, which are characterized as credence services. The finding is noteworthy in that it expands our understanding of the relationship between outcome quality and customer satisfaction.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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