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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2022

Dhruv Grewal, Abhijit Guha, Elisa Schweiger, Stephan Ludwig and Martin Wetzels

Artificial intelligence–enabled voice assistants (VAs), such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri, are available in smartphones, smart speakers, and other…

1019

Abstract

Purpose

Artificial intelligence–enabled voice assistants (VAs), such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri, are available in smartphones, smart speakers, and other digital devices and channels. Use of these VAs is growing rapidly and are expected to significantly impact purchase intentions. This article focuses on how the communications enabled and provided by these VAs influence VA evaluations and usage intentions, contingent on the stage of the customer journey.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds from work on VAs, work on artificial intelligence (AI) and work on communications, to offer a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of how VA evaluations and usage intentions may be impacted by the communications from VAs, contingent on the stage of the customer journey.

Findings

This paper proposes a model for VA enabled communications impact VA evaluations. It builds from work on VAs, AI, communications, and customer journey management. In the proposed model, VA evaluations are not only impacted by source, message and recipient characteristics (per prior communication models), but also by (1) VA/AI specific features, like perceptions of humanness and perceptions of artificiality, and (2) stage of the customer journey.

Practical implications

This paper provides guidance to firms, as regards how VA communications may influence VA evaluations and usage intentions. As an initial conjecture, (1) increasing perceptions of humanness, (2) decreasing perceptions of artificiality (3) a better fit between communications style (e.g. abstract vs concrete), and request type (e.g. transactional vs informational) (4) a better fit between VA communications (e.g. information vs banter), and consumer perceptions of the VA (servant vs partner) and (5) a better fit between VA communications and the stage of the customer journey may positively influence VA evaluations and VA usage intentions.

Originality/value

This paper provides a fresh look at the impact of VA communications, clarifying how such communications impact VA evaluations and usage intentions at various stages of the customer journey.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 July 2019

Michelle M.E. van Pinxteren, Ruud W.H. Wetzels, Jessica Rüger, Mark Pluymaekers and Martin Wetzels

Service robots can offer benefits to consumers (e.g. convenience, flexibility, availability, efficiency) and service providers (e.g. cost savings), but a lack of trust…

12571

Abstract

Purpose

Service robots can offer benefits to consumers (e.g. convenience, flexibility, availability, efficiency) and service providers (e.g. cost savings), but a lack of trust hinders consumer adoption. To enhance trust, firms add human-like features to robots; yet, anthropomorphism theory is ambiguous about their appropriate implementation. This study therefore aims to investigate what is more effective for fostering trust: appearance features that are more human-like or social functioning features that are more human-like.

Design/methodology/approach

In an experimental field study, a humanoid service robot displayed gaze cues in the form of changing eye colour in one condition and static eye colour in the other. Thus, the robot was more human-like in its social functioning in one condition (displaying gaze cues, but not in the way that humans do) and more human-like in its appearance in the other (static eye colour, but no gaze cues). Self-reported data from 114 participants revealing their perceptions of trust, anthropomorphism, interaction comfort, enjoyment and intention to use were analysed using partial least squares path modelling.

Findings

Interaction comfort moderates the effect of gaze cues on anthropomorphism, insofar as gaze cues increase anthropomorphism when comfort is low and decrease it when comfort is high. Anthropomorphism drives trust, intention to use and enjoyment.

Research limitations/implications

To extend human–robot interaction literature, the findings provide novel theoretical understanding of anthropomorphism directed towards humanoid robots.

Practical implications

By investigating which features influence trust, this study gives managers insights into reasons for selecting or optimizing humanoid robots for service interactions.

Originality/value

This study examines the difference between appearance and social functioning features as drivers of anthropomorphism and trust, which can benefit research on self-service technology adoption.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2017

Stefania Farace, Tom van Laer, Ko de Ruyter and Martin Wetzels

This paper aims to assess the effect of narrative transportation, portrayed action and photographic style on viewers’ likelihood to comment on posted consumer photos.

1852

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the effect of narrative transportation, portrayed action and photographic style on viewers’ likelihood to comment on posted consumer photos.

Design/methodology/approach

Integrating visual semiotics and experiments, this research examines the influence of consumer photos on viewers’ likelihood to comment on the visualised narrative. One pilot, three experimental and a content analysis involve photos varying in their narrative perspective (selfie vs elsie) and portrayed content (no product, no action or directed action). The authors also test for the boundary condition of the role of the photographic style (snapshot, professional and “parody” selfie) on the likelihood to comment on consumer photos.

Findings

Viewers are more likely to comment on photos displaying action. When these photos are selfies, the effect is exacerbated. The experience of narrative transportation – a feeling of entering a world evoked by the narrative – underlies this effect. However, if a snapshot style is used (primed or manipulated) – namely, the photographic style appears genuine, unconstructed and natural – the superior effect of selfies disappears because of greater perceived silliness of the visualised narrative.

Practical implications

Managers should try to motivate consumers to take selfies portraying action if their aim is to encourage electronic word-of-mouth.

Social implications

Organisations can effectively use consumer photos portraying consumption for educational purpose (e.g. eating healthfully and reducing alcohol use).

Originality/value

This research links consumer photos and electronic word-of-mouth and extends the marketing literature on visual narratives, which is mainly focused on company rather than user-generated content.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 December 2021

Evelyne Vanpoucke, Martin Wetzels, Frank Rozemeijer and Marion Pilzak-Blonska

Buyers and suppliers often perceive relationship governance mechanisms, such as trust and contractual fairness, in different ways. These differences in perception create…

Abstract

Purpose

Buyers and suppliers often perceive relationship governance mechanisms, such as trust and contractual fairness, in different ways. These differences in perception create an extra layer of complexity that is often ignored in the extant literature. This study adds to the understanding of how perceived asymmetries in trust and contractual fairness, two key relationship governance mechanisms, impact relational rents. This study also analyzes how boundary spanners aid managers to deal with these perceived asymmetries.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data of 103 buyer–supplier dyads from a single global manufacturer of industrial equipment, the authors test hypotheses of perceived asymmetries in trust and contractual fairness, as well as the moderating effect of boundary spanners, on relational rents.

Findings

This research challenges the belief that asymmetries negatively impact or lead to unstable buyer–supplier relationships. Furthermore, it explains how preferential treatment and length of the relationship could reduce the impact of asymmetric perceptions.

Practical implications

This study stresses that open communication, which considers different viewpoints, helps to overcome the negative differences in attitude and perception. In addition, the authors found that long-term relationships seem to be far more resilient in dealing with asymmetries and that preferential treatments are best applied in (approximately) symmetric relationships in terms of contractual fairness.

Originality/value

While studies on buyer–supplier relationships often assume symmetric perceptions of governance mechanisms, asymmetric perceptions are far more prominent in reality. This study aims to improve one’s understanding of the impact of these asymmetries as well as how boundary spanners can affect these perceptions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 August 2018

Theo Benos, Nikos Kalogeras, Ko de Ruyter and Martin Wetzels

This paper aims to examine a core member-customer threat in co-operatives (co-ops) by drawing from ostracism research, assessing co-op ostracism’s impact on critical…

2560

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine a core member-customer threat in co-operatives (co-ops) by drawing from ostracism research, assessing co-op ostracism’s impact on critical membership and relational exchange outcomes and discussing why relationship marketing research needs to pay more attention to the overlooked role of implicit mistreatment forms in customer harm-doing.

Design/methodology/approach

Three studies were conducted. In Study 1, ostracism in co-ops was explored, and a measurement scale for co-op ostracism was developed. In Study 2, the core conceptual model was empirically tested with data from members of three different co-ops. In Study 3, a coping strategy was integrated into an extended model and empirically tested with a new sample of co-op members.

Findings

Ostracism is present in co-ops and “poisons” crucial relational (and membership) outcomes, despite the presence of other relationship-building or relationship-destroying accounts. Coupling entitativity with cognitive capital attenuates ostracism’s impact.

Research limitations/implications

Inspired by co-ops’ membership model and inherent relational advantage, this research is the first to adopt a co-op member-customer perspective and shed light on an implicit relationship-destroying factor.

Practical implications

Co-op decision makers might use the diagnostic tool developed in the paper to detect ostracism and fight it. Moreover, a novel coping strategy for how co-ops (or other firms) might fend off ostracism threats is offered in the article.

Originality/value

The present study illuminates a dark side of a relationally profuse customer context, painting a more complete picture of relationship marketing determinants. Little attention has been given to ostracism as a distinct and important social behaviour in marketing research and to co-ops as a research context.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Adam Lindgreen, Michael Antioco and Martin Wetzels

The Internet is changing the way that companies carry out their business and, in fact, constitutes an entirely new application domain, which makes product innovation…

1460

Abstract

The Internet is changing the way that companies carry out their business and, in fact, constitutes an entirely new application domain, which makes product innovation possible. Moreover, it is a new medium for reaching consumers, which is a central preoccupation to organisations in the current business market. Here interest lies in video chatting on the Internet. This is a type of service that adds video support to chatting using a Web cam and is gradually attracting more Internet users. The paper consists of a market feasibility study evaluating the potential commercialisation of a software program that enables the “cutting away” of the chatters from the original background filmed by the Web cam, and later re‐integrates them into a new background. The software program could, therefore, be interesting for advertising companies.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 February 2022

Arne De Keyser and Werner H. Kunz

Service robots are now an integral part of people's living and working environment, making service robots one of the hot topics for service researchers today. Against that…

1633

Abstract

Purpose

Service robots are now an integral part of people's living and working environment, making service robots one of the hot topics for service researchers today. Against that background, the paper reviews the recent service robot literature following a Theory-Context-Characteristics-Methodology (TCCM) approach to capture the state of art of the field. In addition, building on qualitative input from researchers who are active in this field, the authors highlight where opportunities for further development and growth lie.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies and analyzes 88 manuscripts (featuring 173 individual studies) published in academic journals featured on the SERVSIG literature alert. In addition, qualitative input gathered from 79 researchers who are active in the service field and doing research on service robots is infused throughout the manuscript.

Findings

The key research foci of the service robot literature to date include comparing service robots with humans, the role of service robots' look and feel, consumer attitudes toward service robots and the role of service robot conversational skills and behaviors. From a TCCM view, the authors discern dominant theories (anthropomorphism theory), contexts (retail/healthcare, USA samples, Business-to-Consumer (B2C) settings and customer focused), study characteristics (robot types: chatbots, not embodied and text/voice-based; outcome focus: customer intentions) and methodologies (experimental, picture-based scenarios).

Originality/value

The current paper is the first to analyze the service robot literature from a TCCM perspective. Doing so, the study gives (1) a comprehensive picture of the field to date and (2) highlights key pathways to inspire future work.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Rudolf R. Sinkovics and Pervez N. Ghauri

The first chapter by Pieter Pauwels, Paul G. Patterson, Ko de Ruyter, and Martin Wetzels is entitled “The Propensity to Continue Internationalization: A Study of…

Abstract

The first chapter by Pieter Pauwels, Paul G. Patterson, Ko de Ruyter, and Martin Wetzels is entitled “The Propensity to Continue Internationalization: A Study of Australian Service Firms”. The authors build on the process theory of internationalization and the theory of planned behavior and investigate a firm's propensity to continue internationalization. They develop a theoretical model and test this using structural equation modeling using a sample of international service providers using partial least square (PLS). Their model confirms the pivotal role of attitudes towards internationalization, relevant behavioral norms, and behavioral control factors as contributors to the propensity to continue internationalization.

Details

New Challenges to International Marketing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-469-6

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Matthias Georg Will and Ralf Wetzel

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1996

Jos Lemmink, Martin Wetzels and Kitty Koelemeijer

In today's marketplace for fast‐moving consumer goods, many brands exist with similar characteristics. Development and maintenance of product differentiation becomes…

Abstract

In today's marketplace for fast‐moving consumer goods, many brands exist with similar characteristics. Development and maintenance of product differentiation becomes increasingly difficult to realize for manufacturers. Consequently, non‐price competition particularly by offering high quality customer services, becomes increasingly important as a marketing instrument by producers towards distributors. In this article, an empirical investigation has been conducted into the interrelationships between customer services offered by an international beverage manufacturer and customer sentiments towards partnership and dependence. It appears that despite the well‐established premium brand offered by the manufacturer and the context of a long‐term relationship, customer service significantly affects customer dependence and closeness of the relationship. Furthermore, a high degree of partnership increases customer perceptions of dependence and quality of services. In the long run, manufacturer‐distributor relationships striving for service quality and partnership will benefit from mutual reinforcement.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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