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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2018

Raymond P. Fisk, Alison M. Dean, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Alison Joubert, Josephine Previte, Nichola Robertson and Mark Scott Rosenbaum

The purpose of this paper is to challenge service researchers to design for service inclusion, with an overall goal of achieving inclusion by 2050. The authors present…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge service researchers to design for service inclusion, with an overall goal of achieving inclusion by 2050. The authors present service inclusion as an egalitarian system that provides customers with fair access to a service, fair treatment during a service and fair opportunity to exit a service.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on transformative service research, a transformative, human-centered approach to service design is proposed to foster service inclusion and to provide a platform for managerial action. This conceptual study explores the history of service exclusion and examines contemporary demographic trends that suggest the possibility of worsening service exclusion for consumers worldwide.

Findings

Service inclusion represents a paradigm shift to higher levels of understanding of service systems and their fundamental role in human well-being. The authors argue that focused design for service inclusion is necessary to make service systems more egalitarian.

Research limitations/implications

The authors propose four pillars of service inclusion: enabling opportunity, offering choice, relieving suffering and fostering happiness.

Practical implications

Service organizations are encouraged to design their offerings in a manner that promotes inclusion and permits customers to realize value.

Originality/value

This comprehensive research agenda challenges service scholars to use design to create inclusive service systems worldwide by the year 2050. The authors establish the moral imperative of design for service inclusion.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Nichola Robertson, Heath McDonald, Civilai Leckie and Lisa McQuilken

This study aims to examine the influence of different self-service technologies (SSTs) on customer satisfaction with and continued usage of SSTs. Specifically, it compares…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the influence of different self-service technologies (SSTs) on customer satisfaction with and continued usage of SSTs. Specifically, it compares an interactive voice response (IVR) SST and an online SST from the same provider to assess how to manage these parallel SSTs.

Design/methodology/approach

A tracking study was used, beginning with a survey of n = 957 SST users to test a model pertaining to SST satisfaction across IVR and online SSTs. These SST users were then tracked over 12 months. The association between customer satisfaction with and continued usage of the SSTs was examined using behavioural data from the service provider.

Findings

While the overall model was found to be valid across both types of SSTs, perceptions of factors including ease of use, perceived control and reliability differed for IVR and online SSTs. Satisfaction with SSTs is linked with users’ continued use of SSTs, but is not a barrier to users’ adoption of newer SST forms.

Research limitations/implications

Highlighting the rapid developments in this field, a new SST was introduced by the provider to respondents during the 12-month tracking period, thus complicating the results. Further studies could include the customer purpose for using SSTs as a variable.

Practical implications

The findings offer support for organisations offering a suite of SSTs, even if they serve the same purpose. Customers evaluate SST types differently, and even satisfied SST users switch to different SSTs when they become available. Allowing customers to choose the SST that best suits them appears to be good practice.

Originality/value

This study develops a comprehensive model of customer SST satisfaction that is used to undertake a comparison of two different types of SSTs, which has been missing from prior research.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Lisa McQuilken, Nichola Robertson, Michael Polonsky, Paul Harrison and David Bednall

The purpose of this paper is to test the efficacy of disclosing unit pricing and increasing the type size of complex terms and conditions in advertising. This is in line…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the efficacy of disclosing unit pricing and increasing the type size of complex terms and conditions in advertising. This is in line with recommendations made by global telecommunications regulators, including in Australia, to protect consumers in selecting mobile plans.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employed a 2 (unit price disclosed: no, yes)×3 (type size: nine-, 12- and 15-point terms and conditions) full factorial, between-subjects experimental design using a scenario and fictional advertisements for 24-month mobile phone plans. This was complemented by 24 in-depth interviews with consumers who had recently purchased “real” plans and their assessment of these.

Findings

Extra information in the form of unit pricing has a positive influence on consumers’ value perceptions, but not on perceived confusion or risk. Presenting complex terms and conditions in larger type increases consumers’ perceived confusion and risk, but not perceived value, as consumers have difficulty understanding the complicated information presented.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on a single country market for one product type of mobile phones, using a limited range of mobile plans.

Practical implications

Public policymakers and providers are advised to pre-test planned changes to advertising’s informational content prior to implementation to identify the efficacy of proposed changes to protect consumers. Consumers may also need to be educated to accurately interpret complex plans.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the domain of informational content in advertising as a form of consumer protection. The effect of unit pricing and larger type for terms and conditions on consumer perceptions has not been examined previously in complex product settings.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Josephine Previte and Nichola Robertson

Transformative service research (TSR) and social marketing share a common goal, which is to institute social change that improves individual and societal well-being…

Abstract

Purpose

Transformative service research (TSR) and social marketing share a common goal, which is to institute social change that improves individual and societal well-being. However, the mechanism via which such improved well-being results or so-called “transformation” occurs, is not well understood. The purpose of this paper is to examine the claims made in the TSR literature to identity the themes and scholarly meaning of “transformative” service exchange; ascertain the mechanisms used in service contexts to realize transformation, including to motivate long-term, sustainable societal change; and develop a transformative service exchange continuum to guide research and managerial approaches that aim to create uplifting social change. The authors recommend their continuum as a framework to inform how social marketing and service scholars design service solutions to address wicked social problems.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a qualitative study where Leximancer, a text-mining tool, is used to visualize the structure of themes and concepts that define transformative service exchanges as explained and applied in the literature. Additionally, a profiling analysis of transformation as it is discussed in the TSR literature is used to identify the mechanisms that service marketers have developed to establish current theorization of service thinking for social change. These qualitative phases of analysis then inform the development of the transformative service exchange continuum.

Findings

A scoping review identified 51 articles across 12 journals, based on this study’s selection criteria for identifying transformative service exchanges. The Leximancer analysis systematically and efficiently guided the authors’ interpretation of the large data corpus and was used in the identification of service themes. The use of text-mining software afforded a detailed lens to enrich the authors’ interpretation and clarification of six high-level concepts for inclusion on a transformative service exchange continuum.

Originality/value

This paper aims to unpack the meaning of transformative service exchange by highlighting the mechanism(s) used by researchers when designing social change outcomes. It contributes to TSR via the development of the continuum across micro, meso and macro levels. The temporal nature of transformative service exchanges is also elucidated. This continuum integrates current TSR studies and can guide future service studies in the TSR and social marketing domains.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 July 2021

Nichola Robertson, Yelena Tsarenko, Michael Jay Polonsky and Lisa McQuilken

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the factors driving and mitigating the experienced vulnerabilities of women undergoing the transformative service of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the factors driving and mitigating the experienced vulnerabilities of women undergoing the transformative service of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), and how this influences women’s evaluations and intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework was tested using quantitative data collected via an online survey of Australian women who have undergone IVF treatment. Hayes’ PROCESS macro was used to analyse the data.

Findings

The results indicate that women’s persistent goal-striving alongside their perceived personal sacrifices influence the association between their need for parenthood and their experienced vulnerability. Institutional factors such as IVF clinic technical and interpersonal quality influence these consumers’ IVF experience evaluations and word-of-mouth (WoM) intentions.

Research limitations/implications

This study’s results are limited to women who are undergoing IVF treatment. Further empirical work is needed to deepen the understanding of the role played by partners and other family members in women’s IVF experiences.

Practical implications

IVF clinics can reduce women’s experienced vulnerability by encouraging women who have a good probability of succeeding to persist in the pursuit of the goal of conceiving a child via IVF. This can be achieved by enabling and empowering them so that they give themselves the best chance during treatment, thus facilitating their control. Managing the expectations of those women with a lower probability of success is also recommended. The importance of the technical and interpersonal quality delivered by IVF clinics in influencing the positive evaluations and behavioural intentions of women experiencing vulnerabilities is further highlighted.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the transformative service research literature by: examining the IVF transformative experience, which has been largely overlooked; focussing on the intersection of transformative services and consumers experiencing vulnerability, which is an emerging research area; and testing a framework quantitatively that intermingles individual and institutional factors as antecedents and consequences of consumers’ experienced vulnerabilities, advancing the existing conceptual and qualitative work.

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2018

Anneliese Rosenmayer, Lisa McQuilken, Nichola Robertson and Steve Ogden

This paper aims to present two updated typologies of service failures and recoveries in the omni-channel context. These typologies are based on customer complaints and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present two updated typologies of service failures and recoveries in the omni-channel context. These typologies are based on customer complaints and recoveries collected from the corporate Facebook pages of four omni-channel department stores, two operating in Australia and two in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

A document review is used of 400 customer complaints and recoveries. Content analysis is used to condense the Facebook data into categories of failures and recoveries.

Findings

Customer complaints on Facebook were triggered by a multitude of varying failures in the omni-channel context, given that it is the service brand that customers are experiencing, not just retail channels. The most prevalent failures were “bricks and mortar” shopping, delivery, marketing activities including communications and pricing, quality of goods and customer service. For service recoveries on Facebook, the four-dimensional justice framework appears valid.

Research limitations/implications

Study limitations include potentially missing details about the nature of the service failures and recoveries, including customer satisfaction with service recovery.

Practical implications

The typologies offer guidance to omni-channel retailers by showing the range of online and offline situations, including those unrelated to actual transactions that trigger customer complaints on Facebook and the tactics of recovering.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the service domain by updating failure and recovery typologies to reflect the emerging omni-channel context, jointly exploring failures and recoveries on Facebook and applying a four-dimensional justice framework for recoveries on Facebook.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2019

Wayne Read, Nichola Robertson, Lisa McQuilken and Ahmed Shahriar Ferdous

This paper aims to develop and empirically test a theoretical framework of consumer engagement with brands on Twitter.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop and empirically test a theoretical framework of consumer engagement with brands on Twitter.

Design/methodology/approach

Depth interviews were conducted to gain initial insights into consumer engagement on Twitter. Using a blend of the extant literature and interview findings, a theoretical framework, including antecedents, outcomes and moderators, was developed and empirically tested using cross-sectional survey data.

Findings

Brand customer service and brand intimacy positively influence consumer engagement on Twitter, and consumer engagement mediates the relationship between these antecedents and consumer co-promotion intentions. Consumer perceptions of a brand account’s popularity on Twitter and their likelihood of adding value to a brand are found to be moderators within the conceptual framework.

Research limitations/implications

Caution needs to be exercised in generalising these findings beyond the Twitter context, and the use of a cross-sectional survey means causality cannot be inferred.

Practical implications

Brands need to be perceived as providing excellent customer service and intimate brand knowledge on Twitter to drive consumer engagement and co-promotion. Brands are recommended to develop strategies to increase their Twitter following, including rewarding consumers for their contributions on the brand’s Twitter account to signal that they are valued.

Originality/value

The authors add to the emerging literature on consumer engagement on social media in two key ways, by developing and testing a theoretical framework of consumer engagement in the Twitter context and by identifying moderators in the consumer engagement process on Twitter.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Nichola Robertson

This study aims to explore consumers' motives for their choice of complaint channel in the context of self‐service technology (SST) failure. Traditional and evolving…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore consumers' motives for their choice of complaint channel in the context of self‐service technology (SST) failure. Traditional and evolving communication channels are considered.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative self‐report data from consumers who had recently experienced dissatisfaction with SSTs were collected via an open‐ended survey question. Three independent coders used a deductive and inductive iterative process to code the data.

Findings

The findings suggest that both consumer complaint behaviour (CCB) theory and media richness theory (MRT) help to explain consumers' motivation for channel choice. However, consumers' choice appears to be motivated to a greater degree by convenience rather than task‐medium fit.

Research limitations/implications

This study was set solely in the SST context and explored consumers' hypothetical complaint channel choice, not actual channel use. Future research could examine the actual performance of complaint channels as perceived by consumers. Consumers' motivation to choose other emerging electronic complaint channels, such as complaint blogs and forums, could also be explored.

Practical implications

Understanding consumers' complaint channel choice is important for organisations to enable them to provide effective and efficient ways for consumers to complain. As complaint channels proliferate, it is difficult for organisations to know which channels to offer.

Originality/value

Choosing an appropriate channel for resolving a complaint is an important consumer decision, which the study of CCB needs to be broadened to include. The current study addresses this gap by, for the first time, integrating CCB theory and MRT. This is valuable because it is common for consumers not to voice their complaints to organisations. To facilitate voiced complaints, organisations need to determine which complaint channels will be most effective and efficient and in which situations.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Abstract

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2018

David H.B. Bednall, Harmen Oppewal, Krongjit Laochumnanvanit and Cuc Nguyen

This paper aims to discover how consumers process an innovative set of systematically varied service trial offers and how this affects their learning and interaction as…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discover how consumers process an innovative set of systematically varied service trial offers and how this affects their learning and interaction as precursors to customer engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses experiments that manipulate pricing, type of service and delivery method. A repeated-measures design was used with a sample of 396 participants.

Findings

Free (as opposed to cost or full price) service trials were more likely to be accepted, with perceived truthfulness of the trial offer and perceived obligation mediating the relationship. Credence service trials generate higher levels of perceived obligation than experience service trial offers, while personal services are more likely to lead to trial adoption.

Research limitations/implications

The research can be extended to well-recognized brands and further mixed service contexts.

Practical implications

Trial offers of new services are best targeted at buyers who are in the likely buyer group. The trial offer may accelerate time to purchase and relieve perceived risks. The trials of credence services need further signals of quality in the trial itself for consumers to adopt the full service. With personal service trials, skeptical consumers need assurance as to what will happen after the trial experience. Free trials may actually devalue a service, threatening engagement.

Originality/value

Uniquely, service trial offers are systematically manipulated using experience versus credence and personal versus impersonal trials to determine their effect on acceptance of the trial offer and the full service. Additionally, the study compares free, cost price and full price trial offers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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