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Article
Publication date: 23 April 2020

Higor Leite, Thorsten Gruber and Ian R. Hodgkinson

This paper aims to discuss the strategic role of telehealth technologies in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the strategic role of telehealth technologies in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a viewpoint paper, based on opportune information published and discussed by scholars and managers from different sources; the authors gathered this information to discuss the implications of telehealth during the outbreak.

Findings

Based on examples and benchmarking, the authors found that it is possible to lean on telehealth technologies as a frontline ally to avoid the spread of the virus by tracking, testing and treating (3T’s model).

Research limitations/implications

Together with information published on COVID-19, the authors present their critical observations on the use of telehealth. However, the authors acknowledge that there are restrictions on the use of new technologies in health-care practices that were not addressed by this paper, and they suggest further research to address this limitation.

Practical implications

Governments, health-care organizations and managers are encouraged to take advantage of the information published in this paper. One of the benefits of telehealth is the possibility of bringing patients and physicians together virtually, without the need for physical contact. Henceforth, the authors suggest a more comprehensive implementation of best practices from telehealth to relieve congested health-care facilities and to avoid the risk of further infection.

Social implications

The economic and social impacts of the virus are considered unprecedented by governments worldwide. Therefore, the authors advocate that telehealth practices embedded in health-care practices relieve the pressure that naturally arise during this type of critical event.

Originality/value

In this timely paper, the authors provide invaluable information related to the impact of telehealth technologies on flattening the infection curve of COVID-19.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Jamie Burton, Linda Nasr, Thorsten Gruber and Helen L. Bruce

This paper aims to outline the purpose, planning, development and delivery of the “1st Academic-Practitioner Research with Impact workshop: Customer Experience Management (CEM…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline the purpose, planning, development and delivery of the “1st Academic-Practitioner Research with Impact workshop: Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Big Data” held at Alliance Manchester Business School on 18th and 19th January 2016, at which four subsequent papers were initially developed.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper sets out a summary of the importance and significance of the four papers developed at the workshop and how the co-creative dialogue between managerial practitioners, presenting key problems and issues that they face, and carefully selected teams of academics was facilitated.

Findings

To develop richer and more impactful understanding of current problems challenging customer-focused managers, there is a need for more dialogue and engagement between academics and practitioners.

Practical implications

The paper serves as a guideline for developing future workshops that aim at strengthening the links between academia and the business world.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the value of academic–practitioner workshops for focusing academic research on areas of importance for practitioners to generate impact. The innovative format of the workshop and the resulting impactful papers should serve as a call and motivation for future academic–practitioner workshop development.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Vinh Nhat Lu, Jochen Wirtz, Werner H. Kunz, Stefanie Paluch, Thorsten Gruber, Antje Martins and Paul G. Patterson

Robots are predicted to have a profound impact on the service sector. The emergence of robots has attracted increasing interest from business scholars and practitioners alike. In…

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Abstract

Purpose

Robots are predicted to have a profound impact on the service sector. The emergence of robots has attracted increasing interest from business scholars and practitioners alike. In this article, we undertake a systematic review of the business literature about the impact of service robots on customers and employees with the objective of guiding future research.

Design/methodology/approach

We analyzed the literature on service robots as they relate to customers and employees in business journals listed in the Financial Times top 50 journals plus all journals covered in the cross-disciplinary SERVSIG literature alerts.

Findings

The analysis of the identified studies yielded multiple observations about the impact of service robots on customers (e.g. overarching frameworks on acceptance and usage of service robots; characteristics of service robots and anthropomorphism; and potential for enhanced and deteriorated service experiences) and service employees (e.g. employee benefits such as reduced routine work, enhanced productivity and job satisfaction; potential negative consequences such as loss of autonomy and a range of negative psychological outcomes; opportunities for human–robot collaboration; job insecurity; and robot-related up-skilling and development requirements). We also conclude that current research on service robots is fragmented, is largely conceptual in nature and focused on the initial adoption stage. We feel that more research is needed to build an overarching theory. In addition, more empirical research is needed, especially on the long(er)-term usage service robots on actual behaviors, the well-being and potential downsides and (ethical) risks for customers and service employees.

Research limitations/implications

Our review focused on the business and service literature. Future work may want to include additional literature streams, including those in computer science, engineering and information systems.

Originality/value

This article is the first to synthesize the business and service literature on the impact of service robots on customers and employees.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Raymond P. Fisk, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Laurel Anderson, David E. Bowen, Thorsten Gruber, Amy L. Ostrom and Lia Patrício

Elevating the human experience (HX) through research collaborations is the purpose of this article. ServCollab facilitates and supports service research collaborations that seek…

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Abstract

Purpose

Elevating the human experience (HX) through research collaborations is the purpose of this article. ServCollab facilitates and supports service research collaborations that seek to reduce human suffering and improve human well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

To catalyze this initiative, the authors introduce ServCollab's three human rights goals (serve, enable and transform), standards of justice for serving humanity (distributive, procedural and interactional justice) and research approaches for serving humanity (service design and community action research).

Research implications

ServCollab seeks to advance the service research field via large-scale service research projects that pursue theory building, research and action. Service inclusion is the first focus of ServCollab and is illustrated through two projects (transformative refugee services and virtual assistants in social care). This paper seeks to encourage collaboration in more large-scale service research projects that elevate the HX.

Practical implications

ServCollab seeks to raise the aspirations of service researchers, expand the skills of service research teams and build mutually collaborative service research approaches that transform human lives.

Originality/value

ServCollab is a unique organization within the burgeoning service research community. By collaborating with service researchers, with service research centers, with universities, with nonprofit agencies and with foundations, ServCollab will build research capacity to address large-scale human service system problems. ServCollab takes a broad perspective for serving humanity by focusing on the HX. Current business research focuses on the interactive roles of customer experience and employee experience. From the perspective of HX, such role labels are insufficient concepts for the full spectrum of human life.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 September 2018

Jochen Wirtz, Paul G. Patterson, Werner H. Kunz, Thorsten Gruber, Vinh Nhat Lu, Stefanie Paluch and Antje Martins

The service sector is at an inflection point with regard to productivity gains and service industrialization similar to the industrial revolution in manufacturing that started in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The service sector is at an inflection point with regard to productivity gains and service industrialization similar to the industrial revolution in manufacturing that started in the eighteenth century. Robotics in combination with rapidly improving technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), mobile, cloud, big data and biometrics will bring opportunities for a wide range of innovations that have the potential to dramatically change service industries. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential role service robots will play in the future and to advance a research agenda for service researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a conceptual approach that is rooted in the service, robotics and AI literature.

Findings

The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, it provides a definition of service robots, describes their key attributes, contrasts their features and capabilities with those of frontline employees, and provides an understanding for which types of service tasks robots will dominate and where humans will dominate. Second, this paper examines consumer perceptions, beliefs and behaviors as related to service robots, and advances the service robot acceptance model. Third, it provides an overview of the ethical questions surrounding robot-delivered services at the individual, market and societal level.

Practical implications

This paper helps service organizations and their management, service robot innovators, programmers and developers, and policymakers better understand the implications of a ubiquitous deployment of service robots.

Originality/value

This is the first conceptual paper that systematically examines key dimensions of robot-delivered frontline service and explores how these will differ in the future.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 November 2017

Linda Nasr, Jamie Burton and Thorsten Gruber

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance and extend the understanding of the underresearched concept of personal positive customer feedback (PCF). By comparing and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance and extend the understanding of the underresearched concept of personal positive customer feedback (PCF). By comparing and contrasting front-line employees’ (FLEs) and customers’ perspectives, this study aims to develop a deeper understanding of the main elements, characteristics of PCF, its various impacts and the perceived importance of this phenomenon for both parties.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory research study was conducted using a novel integrated methodological approach combining two well-established qualitative techniques: structured Laddering interviews and various elements of the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique. In total, personal interviews with 40 participants consisting of 20 customers and 20 FLEs were conducted.

Findings

This study conceptualizes personal PCF in the service literature by identifying the various PCF elements and characteristics. The authors extend PCF understanding beyond what the current literature shows (i.e. gratitude, compliments) by identifying nine characteristics of PCF. This study also proposes a number of impacts on both customers and FLEs. While both customers and FLEs have a similar understanding of the various elements and characteristics of PCF, the significance of the various elements and the subsequent impacts vary between the two groups. Finally, three key themes in PCF handling that help position PCF within the extant customer management literature are identified and discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to a well-rounded understanding of customer feedback by counter-balancing the prevailing focus on customer complaining behaviour and proposing a complimentary look at the positive valence of personal feedback. It also provides managerial implications concerning the management of positive service encounters, an emerging topic within service research.

Originality/value

This multidisciplinary study is the first to extend the understanding of personal PCF by comparing and contrasting customers’ and FLEs’ perspectives. The findings of this study highlight the need to explore the positive side of service interactions to create positive service experiences.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2022

Rachel Fuller, Lara Stocchi, Thorsten Gruber and Jenni Romaniuk

Service branding research predominantly focuses on the purchase and postpurchase stages of the customer journey. This study aims to expand the lens of enquiry to the prepurchase…

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Abstract

Purpose

Service branding research predominantly focuses on the purchase and postpurchase stages of the customer journey. This study aims to expand the lens of enquiry to the prepurchase stage, showing the role service brand awareness and service brand retrieval play before customer experiences and relationships can be established.

Design/methodology/approach

The research presents and empirically examines a new framework that links service brand awareness and service brand retrieval to key “battlegrounds” in the prepurchase stage of the customer journey: entry into the Awareness Set, Consideration Set and Repertoire Set. The empirical work draws on data from both services and goods markets from two UK-based consumer surveys (N = 771 and N = 270, respectively).

Findings

The findings indicate that, prepurchase, service brands compete most intensively to establish and reinforce a broad array of memory associations, rather than a specific corporate or brand image.

Research limitations/implications

To improve the generalizability of the conclusions drawn, the findings of this study should be replicated in additional service categories and consumer samples.

Practical implications

The findings translate into novel, long-term strategies for the management of service brands at the prepurchase stage of the customer journey, especially opportunities for effective and creative marketing communications.

Originality/value

This study contributes to marketing research and practice by introducing the notion of service brand retrieval and highlighting its role, together with service brand awareness and prepurchase.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 57 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Thorsten Gruber, Ibrahim Abosag, Alexander E. Reppel and Isabelle Szmigin

This paper seeks to use the Kano model to gain a deeper understanding of attributes of effective frontline employees dealing with customer complainants in personal interactions…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to use the Kano model to gain a deeper understanding of attributes of effective frontline employees dealing with customer complainants in personal interactions. Previous research revealed that excitement factors deteriorate to basic factors over time. This research aims to investigate whether the same phenomenon holds true for attributes of service employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using Kano questionnaires from 272 respondents with complaining experience in the UK and Saudi Arabia, these being two countries at different stages of service sector development.

Findings

The analysis of the Kano questionnaires for the UK reveals that complaining customers take the contact employee's ability to listen carefully for granted. The Kano results for Saudi Arabia clearly indicate that complaining customers are (still) easier to delight than their UK counterparts.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the study has a sample size similar to several existing Kano studies, future research studies could still use larger probability samples that represent the broader (complaining) consumer population in the selected countries.

Practical implications

If companies know what complaining customers expect, frontline employees may be trained to adapt their behaviour to their customers' underlying expectations. For this purpose, the paper gives several suggestions to managers to improve active complaint handling and management.

Originality/value

The study adds to the understanding of effective complaint handling. The findings are the first to show that employee factors that are performance factors in a highly developed service economy can still delight customers in a less developed service economy.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Thorsten Gruber and Fabricio Frugone

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the desired qualities and behaviours that patients believe general practitioners (GPs) should have in medical (service recovery…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the desired qualities and behaviours that patients believe general practitioners (GPs) should have in medical (service recovery) encounters. In particular, the authors try to reveal the qualities and behaviours of GPs that patients value, to understand the underlying benefits that they look for during personal (service recovery) encounters, and to graphically illustrate the findings in a so‐called hierarchical value map. This will prove to be important in order to understand patients' needs and desires correctly.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory research study using the qualitative laddering interviewing technique was regarded as appropriate as it allows researchers to gain a deeper insight into an underdeveloped research subject. In total, in‐depth laddering interviews with 38 respondents were conducted.

Findings

In case of a service recovery encounter, patients believe that GPs need to show competence, friendliness and empathy in order to restore trust in them. GPs should also listen actively and do the appropriate checks in order to find the root cause of the problem. “Health” was the main value sought by patients. This value is considered by patients to be the gateway to moving on with their everyday lives and search the attainment of other values such as well‐being, belongingness, accomplishment, and self‐realization. Moreover, respondents would like to gain knowledge about their disease in order to prevent them in the future and to have some sense of control over the decision of the treatment. Patients also want a more active role in the medical (service recovery) encounter, which calls for a more shared approach by GPs in the interaction with their patients.

Originality/value

This paper gives a valuable first insight into the desired qualities and behaviours of GPs during medical (service recovery) encounters. The study results especially indicate that complaining patients are people first and patients second, where the primary importance is the satisfaction of basic social needs. The fact that this study has revealed the highest number of values in published laddering studies so far shows how crucial these medical (service recovery) encounters in general and GP qualities and behaviours in particular are for patients. Another strong contribution of this paper is the finding that all the identified concepts from the laddering interviews that are shown in the hierarchical value maps must not been seen in strict isolation, as in previous research, but have to be understood as a network of interrelated concepts.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Thorsten Gruber, Alexander Reppel, Isabelle Szmigin and Roediger Voss

The purpose of this paper is to focus on complaint satisfaction with a particular emphasis on the qualities and behaviours that affect customers during personal complaint handling…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on complaint satisfaction with a particular emphasis on the qualities and behaviours that affect customers during personal complaint handling encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a literature review of complaint satisfaction and the role of customer contact employees in complaint encounters, an exploratory study using both the laddering interviewing technique and Kano questionnaires is presented.

Findings

The laddering results indicate that being taken seriously in the complaint encounter and the employee's friendliness, listening skills and competence are particularly important. The fact that interpersonal factors are highly regarded indicates that customers want to satisfy these process needs first and their outcome expectations second. The Kano results show that employees' active listening skills are the only must‐be requirements while the two concepts “Apology” and “Respectful Treatment” are close to being must‐be criteria. In addition, the employee's feedback after the complaint handling encounter can almost be categorized as an excitement factor.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the exploratory nature of the study and the scope and size of the chosen sample, the results outlined are tentative in nature.

Originality/value

By combing two research methods, this paper develops an area of research that could reap considerable benefits for researchers interested in the area of customer complaint satisfaction.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

1 – 10 of 44