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Drivers of customers' service experiences: A customer perspective on co-creation of restaurant services, focusing on interactions, processes and activities
Örebro universitet, Restaurang- och hotellhögskolan - Grythytte Akademi.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is essential for service companies to understand how their customer service experiences are formed. This is especially important since service experiences are highly subjective and involve customers cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally. Although customer service experiences are a well recognised research topic in both, culinary arts and service research, dynamic interactions, activities and the customers’ active involvement have so far gained little attention. As a consequence the approach in previous research paints a rather static picture of customer service experiences. By introducing the principles of service dominant logic a first person view and the understanding of drivers of customer service experiences could be facilitated. The overall aim of the thesis is to extend and deepen the understandin of drivers of favourable and unfavourable customer service experiences.The context selected is the restaurant context. The overall aim is reflected in four intermediate aims. Two separate studies were conducted. First a two-stage questionnaire based study, describing the phone reservation encounter compared to dining satisfaction; second a critical incident technique study including 195 short narratives of customers’ favourable and unfavourable service experiences at restaurants. Interview data were analysed according to constant comparative analysis principles.The main empirical contributions of this thesis are the move from static descriptions of service to examining dynamic drivers of favourable and unfavourable customers’ service experiences, and especially the analysis of social interactions as a driver of service experiences and the categorisation of drivers. Theoretically the thesis introduces the experience driver constellation, reflecting the dynamic process of co-creation in specific situations,when favourable and unfavourable customer service experiences are formed. Suggestions are made to develop the Five Aspects Meal Model and the Experience Room Framework through the addition of actors, the exterior environment and organisational routines to the models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University , 2011. , 108 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Culinary Arts and Meal Science, ISSN 1652-2974 ; 8
Keyword [en]
customer service experience, experience driver, dynamic, restaurant, co-creation, critical incident technique, phone encounters, experience room, servicescape, social interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84545ISBN: 978-91-7668-790-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-84545DiVA: diva2:684995
Public defence
2011-05-20, Grythyttan, 17:16 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Avhandlingen med fulltext och alla delarbeten finns även på sidan

http://oru.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:403140

Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-02-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Drivers of customers’ service experiences: a study in the restaurant industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers of customers’ service experiences: a study in the restaurant industry
2010 (English)In: Managing Service Qual, Vol. 20, no 3, 236-258 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify, portray and analyse the frequent drivers of customer service experiences as described by customers in their own words – the voice of the customer.

Design/methodology/approach – A critical incident technique study was conducted, based on 122 interviews, including 195 favourable and unfavourable narratives, about customer experiences. The data were analysed in an inductive manner and the results are presented by means of extracts from the narratives.

Findings – The findings describe the dimensions of drivers of customers' favourable and unfavourable experiences and the frequent drivers, the social interaction, the core service and the physical context.

Research limitations/implications – Customer experiences are processes and include dynamic interactions and the customer as a co-producer. The study context is limited to the restaurant setting and Swedish customers.

Practical implications – For managers the results suggest that great effort needs to be put into understanding the process of customer experiences and the various interactions involved, especially social interactions and the crucial roles of contact employees and customers involved in these interactions.

Originality/value – The paper provides a detailed description and analysis of the frequent and less frequent drivers of favourable, and unfavourable customer experiences – the constellation of drivers. The findings are illustrated by extracts from customer narratives and show how experiences occur and that experiences are processes occurring in a social and physical environment when people do things together. Furthermore, the paper introduces customer experience to service dominant logic by describing the dynamics of resource interactions in customer experience formation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84502 (URN)10.1108/09604521011041961 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-02-07Bibliographically approved
2. The physical environment as a driver of customers' service experiences at restaurants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The physical environment as a driver of customers' service experiences at restaurants
2012 (English)In: The International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 4, no 2, 104-119 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to analyze and describe the drivers in the physical environment that help to form customers' service experiences at restaurants, as described by customers in their own words.

Design/methodology/approach – A critical incident study was conducted through 122 interviews resulting in a total of 195 favourable and unfavourable customer service experiences in restaurants. Data were analysed inductively in accordance with the principles of constant comparison and the results were interpreted by regarding customers as creators of their own meaning.

Findings – The physical environment has both a functional and a social dimension and it is an important driver of customer service experiences in restaurants. Customers interact with these drivers individually and create their own meanings and value expressed as feelings, thoughts, imagination and behaviour.

Research limitations/implications – The results develop the tenets of service-dominant logic by offering some insight into customers' own logic in value creation and the design of the physical restaurant environment.

Practical implications – Customers actively construct their own individual meanings from the physical environment, throughout the whole service process, indicating that the customer service experience is not controlled solely by restaurant management. As some drivers are only experienced in their absence or when they are noticeably disturbing or pleasing, it is important for managers to understand these dimensions in order to treat them appropriately. Both favourable and unfavourable service experiences need to be considered.

Originality/value – The physical environment can be described as a dynamic driver which includes a social dimension and customers are regarded as active creators of their own experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Food Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84498 (URN)10.1108/17566691211232864 (DOI)
Note

Online from: 2009.

Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-02-07Bibliographically approved
3. Social interactions as drivers of customers’ restaurant experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social interactions as drivers of customers’ restaurant experiences
2010 (English)In: Marketing, strategy, economics, operations & human resources: insights on service activities / [ed] Pierre Eiglier, James Fitzsimmons, Katherine Lemon, Douglas Pugh, Aix-en-Provence: University Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III , 2010, 771-790 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aix-en-Provence: University Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III, 2010
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84537 (URN)
Conference
11th International Research Seminar in Service Management
Available from: 2014-01-08 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-02-07Bibliographically approved

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