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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2020

Sabine Fliess and Maarten Volkers

The purpose of this paper is to explore the reasons why customers often cannot or do not exit a negative service encounter (lock-in) and to discuss how this affects their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the reasons why customers often cannot or do not exit a negative service encounter (lock-in) and to discuss how this affects their well-being and coping responses. This contributes to the research on how negative service encounters emerge and evolve and how such encounters impact customer well-being and subsequent responses.

Design/methodology/approach

An inductive, exploratory approach was used. Interviews with 20 service customers yielded over 90 detailed lock-in experiences across 25 different services. A multi-step, iterative coding process was used with a mixture of coding techniques that stem from a grounded theory approach.

Findings

Four categories of factors that caused customers to endure a negative event were identified (physical lock-in, dependency on the service, social lock-in and psychological lock-in). Customers either experienced inner turmoil (if they perceived having the option to stay or leave) or felt captive; both impacted their well-being and coping strategies in different ways. Three characteristics of negative events that caused lock-in to persist over time were identified.

Research limitations/implications

This is a qualitative study that aims to identify factors behind customer lock-in, reduced well-being and coping strategies across different types of service encounters. Future research may build on these themes to investigate lock-in during specific service encounters in greater depth.

Practical implications

This research provides insights regarding how service providers can anticipate lock-in situations. In addition, the findings point to several ways in which frontline employees can assist customers with the coping process, during lock-in.

Originality/value

Customer lock-in during a service encounter is a common, yet unexplored phenomenon. This research contributes to a better understanding of why customers endure negative events and how such perceptions are reflected in their experiences and behaviors.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Sabine Fliess, Stefan Dyck and Mailin Schmelter

The purpose of this paper is to investigate customer perceptions of their own contribution to service provision, in order to enhance our understanding of customer…

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2385

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate customer perceptions of their own contribution to service provision, in order to enhance our understanding of customer contribution and its dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 27 in-depth interviews were conducted across nine service contexts. Qualitative data were then analyzed to identify the various dimensions of customer contribution.

Findings

First, the study contributes to the understanding of customer contribution in identifying physical, mental, and emotional dimensions. The physical and mental dimensions of customer contribution are represented by activities, while emotions comprise mood and emotional states. Second, relationships among the three dimensions were identified; in particular, physical and mental activities were found to influence customer emotions. Third, the findings reveal that customer understanding of their own contribution to service provision encompass the co-creative sphere of customer and provider, and extends to the customer-sphere before the service encounter.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative study is limited in terms of generalizability, since the 27 interview cases were based on nine interviews each covering three service settings. Further research is needed to investigate how the dimensions of customer contribution are linked to different outcomes (e.g. service value, satisfaction, loyalty), thus providing a quantitative validation of our findings.

Practical implications

Understanding the customer contribution to service provision is pivotal for service design. Service managers need to reflect on how the different dimensions of contribution manifest in their existing or potential service offering, since physical and mental customer activities shape their emotions, which in turn impact on the service experience and value.

Originality/value

Little in-depth research has been conducted on the nature and dimensionality of customer contributions to service provision, particularly with regard to perceptions of their own contribution. Most previous empirical research on customer contribution is limited to a specific context and concerned with customer behaviors. Hence, this qualitative study examines customer contribution across different service context, focussing on customer perceptions in terms of physical, mental, and emotional contributions to service provision.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2021

Maarten Volkers

This article demonstrates that the type of service setting and the first interaction with an employee influences the customers' intention to stay or leave during an…

Abstract

Purpose

This article demonstrates that the type of service setting and the first interaction with an employee influences the customers' intention to stay or leave during an unsatisfactory service encounter, and that these effects are mediated by social lock-in, which describes the perception of a customer that exiting a service encounter early violates social norms.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses are tested with two scenario-based experiments using a collective (theater) and high-contact service (restaurant) (N = 1143; 1485).

Findings

The results suggest that social lock-in and the intention to stay are higher in a closed as opposed to an open setting and that the type of setting is, in fact, more important for the decision to stay than sunk costs. Moreover, customers are more likely to stay after an interaction with an employee.

Research limitations/implications

This article contributes to the research aimed at explaining customers' decisions to stay or leave during an unsatisfactory service encounter. In doing so, the study highlights the constraining power of social norms in service encounters, which contributes to the research on the relationship between the social context and customers' behavior.

Practical implications

This study suggests that service providers can manage servicescape cues and employee behavior to influence customers' social lock-in perceptions and their decision to stay on or to leave early.

Originality/value

This is the first study to provide quantitative evidence for social lock-in and its determinants in service encounters.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Professor Bo Edvardsson and Professor Anders Gustafsson

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288

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 October 2009

Jochen Wirtz, Robert Johnston and Christopher Khoe Sin Seow

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553

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Sabine Biege, Gunter Lay and Daniela Buschak

The purpose of this paper is to propose a process‐modelling method that is based on methods from both operations management (OM) and service operations management (SOM)…

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4906

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a process‐modelling method that is based on methods from both operations management (OM) and service operations management (SOM), which complies with the special requirements of servitised manufacturers.

Design/methodology/approach

After a comprehensive literature review of organisational change in servitised manufacturers, the requirements for modelling industrial services are established. In addition, existing business process‐modelling methods from OM and SOM are classified and related to these requirements. A modelling method that is adapted to the needs of servitised manufacturers is proposed, and the practical advantages of this methodology are explored in an exemplary case study of a machine tool manufacturer.

Findings

This paper suggests that existing instruments that have been developed within OM and SOM need considerable adjustment to comply with the needs of servitised manufacturers.

Originality/value

This paper contributes towards mastering the transition from the production of capital goods to the offering of entire solutions by outlining the special requirements of the process structure in a manufacturing company as it turns into a solution‐provider.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Sabine Benoit (née Moeller), Nicola Bilstein, Jens Hogreve and Christina Sichtmann

The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize platforms for members to exchange information by information-based online communities (IBOCs, like LinkedIn or Facebook)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize platforms for members to exchange information by information-based online communities (IBOCs, like LinkedIn or Facebook). Because member participation is vital for IBOCs, this research aims to identify and validate factors that drive member participation.

Design/methodology/approach

With reference to social exchange theory the authors developed a model of antecedents of participation in IBOCs that was tested with survey data using PLS. Because some of the results contradicted the theory, the authors examined those results in a mainly qualitative study with online community providers. These experts offered explanations that inform the discussion and managerial implications.

Findings

Role clarity, provider’s responsiveness, and enjoyment all influence member participation. Contrary to theory, the cooperation of other members affects member participation negatively while a member’s ability shows no effect.

Practical implications

This research has several implications for IBOC providers. Because ability does not affect participation directly, providers do not need to worry about lacking ability and can effectively target all potential members. The importance of provider responsiveness signals that IBOC providers should proactively monitor members’ compliance with social norms to lower the social risk for members. The impact of community-specific knowledge and enjoyment on participation puts emphasis on careful community design and the thoughtful implementation of new features that might enhance enjoyment, but reduce role clarity.

Originality/value

Whereas most of the participation literature focusses on a dyadic relationship, the research investigates the triadic relationship in which the provider is only an enabler of exchange. Furthermore, the authors bring together two streams of the literature: the participation literature, which tends to focus on offline participation; and the online community literature, which has not yet investigated participation. This is also the first paper to investigate nonlinear effects on participation.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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