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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Kristina Heinonen

The current service landscape is increasingly dynamic, and consumers’ engagement in market-related behavior is constantly changing. Developments in technology further…

Abstract

Purpose

The current service landscape is increasingly dynamic, and consumers’ engagement in market-related behavior is constantly changing. Developments in technology further influence this continuous dynamism. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that may cause different engagement valence, especially as only some consumers actively engage in online platforms. The purpose of this paper is to characterize factors that positively and negatively influence consumer engagement and suggest theoretical and managerial implications for the different factors that determine consumer engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conceptualizes factors that influence consumer engagement based on their characteristics (behavioral, emotional, and cognitive) and the type of influence (positive or negative). The study uses customer-dominant logic of service, which focuses on emancipated customers and idiosyncratic customer logic, rather than on provider-orchestrated customer experiences of brands, firms, or offerings. An abductive research approach is used to qualitatively explore consumer engagement in the context of online interest communities.

Findings

The study identifies the behavioral, emotional, and cognitive factors that positively and negatively determine consumer engagement in the context of online interest communities.

Research limitations/implications

Through the focus on customer logic, the study provides a detailed and nuanced view of factors that influence consumer engagement. Future research is needed to explore how this framework can be applied to other online communities and different service contexts.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights into the presence of an interest area in consumers’ lives. The study indicates how firms may be involved in consumers’ lives and how firms may create successful customer relationships based on consumer engagement.

Originality/value

This study enhances previous research in four ways: by characterizing factors that determine engagement, paying particular attention to its negatively valenced factors and examining the interplay of the factors that positively and negatively influence engagement, by describing consumers’ connection to the interest area instead of positioning the brand as the link between the consumers and the provider, and by discussing the theoretical and practical challenges associated with understanding and managing consumer engagement.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Jos Lemmink, Iva Franzelova, Maria Säaksjärvi and Kristina Heinonen

Nowadays, customers have big chunks of information on their smartphones and can acquire information and make decisions rapidly, oftentimes with the use of specific apps…

Abstract

Purpose

Nowadays, customers have big chunks of information on their smartphones and can acquire information and make decisions rapidly, oftentimes with the use of specific apps. Most of the research on this topic to date has been conducted from the perspective of the provider, or the company, therefore missing the value that is created with these apps in the customer’s own domain according to the customer-dominant logic (CDL) approach.

Design/methodology/approach

As compared with prior research, CDL requires a different type of research that is much more inclined towards customers and specific circumstances. This paper is positioned within CDL (Heinonen and Strandvik, 2015) and aims to quantitatively explore app usage in different customer contexts.

Findings

Seven apps were tested in two different usage contexts: a social vs an individual context and a calm vs dynamic context. It was found that for the social vs individual context there was no difference; thus, managers should not pay too much attention to whether the user of the digital service is in a social context. For the calm vs dynamic social context, it was found that customers’ satisfaction, enjoyment, pleasure and their overall rating of an app were higher when the customer as in a tranquil vs dynamic context.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed method provides a highly relevant way to approach app development from a CDL perspective.

Practical implications

These findings provide evidence that context matters and that we should study customer behavior from a more integral and detailed perspective as has been advocated by CDL.

Social implications

App research should incorporate a customer focused approach. This means that not only the customers’ needs need to be considered. The circumstances and context in which apps are used are highly relevant as well.

Originality/value

This research uses a CDL approach to provide evidence about the consequences for app usage and satisfaction and shows the necessity of incorporating specific circumstances, customer experience and usage variables to a larger extend than has been advocated in the past.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Werner H. Kunz, Kristina Heinonen and Jos G.A.M. Lemmink

Service technologies are transforming the business landscape rapidly. This paper aims to explore the current scope of research in regard to emerging service technologies…

Abstract

Purpose

Service technologies are transforming the business landscape rapidly. This paper aims to explore the current scope of research in regard to emerging service technologies by comparing the content of articles in academic journals with practitioner-oriented publication outlets.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 5,118 technology-related articles from service journals, service conferences, business journals and business magazines are analyzed. Text-mining on abstracts is used for the thematic and semantic analysis. Common research themes and their relationships are depicted in a two-dimensional structured network. Further, the sample is analyzed regarding various technologies mentioned in the Gartner Hype Cycle.

Findings

The paper reveals differences in academic and business perspectives in regard to service technologies. In comparison to business journals, scientific service research is more focused on customer-related aspects of technology. Service research has a less concrete focus on technology than in business publications. Still, service conference articles show a broader scope of emerging service technologies than academic journal articles.

Research limitations/implications

Scientific research should focus on more concrete service technologies. Business magazines serve as a good source for that and the paper identifies several promising new technology fields.

Practical implications

Although business magazines cover significantly more concrete service technologies, they miss the integrated perspective that academic articles usually offer. Academia can help business to better align concrete technologies with different internal and external perspectives.

Originality/value

This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue Future Service Technologies. Additionally, a quantitative study of recent service technology research serves as a reality check for academic researchers on business reality and provides research and practical recommendations.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2018

Tore Strandvik, Kristina Heinonen and Sanna Vollmer

This paper aims to identify how, in contrast to a provider-oriented stance where customer value is conceptualised as being controlled by the provider, customer value is…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify how, in contrast to a provider-oriented stance where customer value is conceptualised as being controlled by the provider, customer value is formed for business customers beyond what is visible to the provider.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds on the primacy of the customer. Customer-dominant logic (CDL) is used as the conceptual underpinning, meaning that the customer, rather than the service provider or the service system, is at the centre. A case study was conducted with seven key users from three customer companies of an information and communications technology (ICT) provider of in-house services. The study used a micro-social level focus by capturing customers’ experiences of those activities where value in use is formed.

Findings

The findings indicate that value formation is not related only to direct service interactions and furthermore substantially takes place beyond a service provider’s visibility line. Hence, value formation is in large part hidden for the service provider because it is embedded in customers’ activities and experiences.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study is limited to one case concerning ICT services, these findings may apply to other service businesses, in particular to knowledge-intensive outsourcing businesses.

Practical implications

Understanding a customer’s value formation from the customer’s point of view is the key to service development for any business service provider.

Originality/value

Applying a CDL approach, the authors deepen the understanding of customer value formation as it emerges in customer activities. The study provides detailed insight into business customers’ value formation processes. The study’s findings challenge the current emphasis on interactions and co-creation and instead demonstrate the importance of understanding customer logics and contexts.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 September 2018

Kristina Heinonen and Gustav Medberg

Understanding customers is critical for service researchers and practitioners. Today, customers are increasingly active online, and valuable information about their…

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding customers is critical for service researchers and practitioners. Today, customers are increasingly active online, and valuable information about their opinions, experiences and behaviors can be retrieved from a variety of online platforms. Online customer information creates new opportunities to design personalized and high-quality service. This paper aims to review how netnography as a method can help service researchers and practitioners to better use such data.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review and analysis were conducted on 321 netnography studies published in marketing journals between 1997 and 2017.

Findings

The systematic review reveals that netnography has been applied in a variety of ways across different marketing fields and topics. Based on the analysis of existing netnography literature, empirical, theoretical and methodological recommendations for future netnographic service research are presented.

Research limitations/implications

This paper shows how netnography can offer service researchers unprecedented opportunities to access naturalistic online data about customers and, hence, why it is an important method for future service research.

Practical implications

Netnographic research can help service firms with, for example, service innovation, advertising and environmental scanning. This paper provides guidelines for service managers who want to use netnography as a market research tool.

Originality/value

Netnography has seen limited use in service research despite many promising applications in this field. This paper is the first to encourage and support service researchers in their use of the method and aims to stimulate interesting future netnographic service research.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Kristina Heinonen, Elina Jaakkola and Irina Neganova

Customer-to-customer (C2C) interaction plays a significant role in service. The purpose of this paper is to identify the drivers that motivate customers to interact with…

Abstract

Purpose

Customer-to-customer (C2C) interaction plays a significant role in service. The purpose of this paper is to identify the drivers that motivate customers to interact with other customers, the interactions through which customers affect other customers and the value outcomes of C2C interactions for the participants.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a systematic literature review of C2C interactions. The authors analyzed 142 peer-reviewed articles to synthesize existing knowledge about C2C interactions. A generic value framework is used to categorize earlier research and reveal areas for further research.

Findings

The main outcome of this study is an integrative framework of C2C interaction that bridges C2C interactions and customer value. The findings indicate customer-, firm- and situation-induced drivers of C2C interactions. Outcome- and process-focused C2C interactions are identified to result in functional, emotional and social value outcomes. Avenues for additional research to explore issues related to current technology-saturated service settings are proposed.

Research limitations/implications

The paper proposes an agenda for future research to extend the C2C interaction research domain and explore how such interactions create value for the customer. The role of the service provider is not explicitly addressed but is an important area for further research.

Practical implications

Companies can use the framework to understand how they can become involved in and support beneficial C2C interaction.

Originality/value

This paper reviews empirical studies on C2C interaction, offering a systematic review of C2C interaction and producing an integrative framework of C2C interaction. It identifies a research agenda based on the framework and on topical issues within service research and practice.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Werner Kunz, Lerzan Aksoy, Yakov Bart, Kristina Heinonen, Sertan Kabadayi, Francisco Villarroel Ordenes, Marianna Sigala, David Diaz and Babis Theodoulidis

This paper aims to propose that the literature on customer engagement has emphasized the benefits of customer engagement to the firm and, to a large extent, ignored the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose that the literature on customer engagement has emphasized the benefits of customer engagement to the firm and, to a large extent, ignored the customers’ perspective. By drawing upon co-creation and other literature, this paper attempts to alleviate this gap by proposing a strategic framework that aligns both the customer and firm perspectives in successfully creating engagement that generates value for both the customer and the bottom line.

Design/methodology/approach

A strategic framework is proposed that includes the necessary firm resources, data, process, timeline and goals for engagement, and captures customers’ motives, situational factors and preferred engagement styles.

Findings

The authors argue that sustainability of data-driven customer engagement requires a dynamic and iterative value generation process involving customers recognizing the value of engagement behaviours and firm’s ability to capture and passing value back to customers.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a dynamic strategic value-creation framework that comprehensively captures both the customer and firm perspectives to data-driven customer engagement.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Kristina Heinonen

The purpose of this paper is to describe and conceptualize customer relationships in the financial service sector, focussing on three aspects of customer-bank…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and conceptualize customer relationships in the financial service sector, focussing on three aspects of customer-bank relationships: the financial service provider perspective, the customer-provider dyad, and the customer context.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a short review of the eight papers included in this special issue, this paper illustrates different aspects of customer relationships. It explores customer value formation in the context of banking services, the dynamics and strength of customer relationships, and strategies for financial service provision and consumer trust.

Findings

Customer relationships in the financial service sector are increasingly dynamic and unpredictable. This may be due to both activities within the control of financial service providers, such as strategies for service provision, but is more often attributable to factors beyond the control of providers. What empowered customers are doing in their own settings influences their attitudes toward and evaluations of financial services.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual. It challenges the firm-centric approach to customer relationships and compares different perspectives of customer relationships. The significance of the customer-centric perspective is emphasized.

Practical implications

Awareness of uncontrollable and idiosyncratic aspects of customer relationships will offer financial service providers new opportunities for being present in the customers’ lives and business.

Originality/value

This paper illustrates the importance of extending the focus from what financial service providers are doing to what customers are doing within their own domains. Financial service providers need to understand more about their customers than their perceptions of service quality, satisfaction, and loyalty in different distribution channels, such as internet and mobile banking. The focus should be instead on how customers integrate their financial activities and experiences in their own life or business.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2020

Kristina Heinonen, Jan Kietzmann and Leyland F. Pitt

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Kristina Heinonen and Tore Strandvik

The empirical study draws on a crowdsourced database of 221 innovations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abstract

Purpose

The empirical study draws on a crowdsourced database of 221 innovations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Aside from the health and humanitarian crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an acute economic downturn in most sectors, forcing public and private organizations to rethink and reconfigure service provision. The paper introduces the concept of imposed service innovation as a new strategic lens to augment the extant view of service innovation as a primarily discretionary activity.

Findings

The identified imposed service innovations were assigned to 11 categories and examined in terms of their strategic horizon and strategic stretch. The innovations are characterized by spatial flexibility, social and health outreach and exploitation of technology.

Research limitations/implications

As a new area of service innovation research, imposed service innovations highlight strategic issues that include the primacy of customers and the fragility of institutions.

Practical implications

Situations involving imposed service innovation represent opportunities for rapid business development when recognized as such. A severe disruption such as a pandemic can catalyze managerial rethinking as organizations are forced to look beyond their existing business strategies.

Social implications

As a strategic response to severe disruption of institutions, markets and service offerings, imposed service innovations afford opportunities to implement transformation and enhance well-being. This novel strategic lens foregrounds a societal account of service innovation, emphasizing societal relevance and context beyond the challenges of business viability alone.

Originality/value

While extant service innovation research has commonly focused on discretionary activities that enable differentiation and growth, imposed service innovations represent actions for resilience and renewal.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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