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Drivers of customers’ service experiences: a study in the restaurant industry
Örebro University, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science.
Karlstad Univ, CTF Serv Res Ctr, Karlstad, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8848-5812
2010 (English)In: Managing Service Quality, ISSN 0960-4529, E-ISSN 1758-8030, 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
Yorkshire, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010. Vol. 20, no 3, 236-258 p.
Keyword [en]
Customer orientation, social interaction, restaurants, Sweden, customer services quality, corporate strategy
National Category
Social Sciences Business Administration
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12032DOI: 10.1108/09604521011041961ISI: 000279929800003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77951992771OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-12032DiVA: diva2:354996
Available from: 2010-10-05 Created: 2010-10-05 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Drivers of customers' service experiences: a customer perspective on co-creation of restaurant services, focusing on interactions, processes and activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers of customers' service experiences: a customer perspective on co-creation of restaurant services, focusing on interactions, processes and activities
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 universitet, 2011. 108 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Culinary Arts and Meal Science, ISSN 1652-2974 ; 8
Keyword
customer service experience, experience driver, dynamic, restaurant, co-creation, critical incident technique, phone encounters, experience room, servicescape, social interaction
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-14826 (URN)978-91-7668-790-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-20, Gastronomiska teatern, Campus Grythyttan, Sörälgsvägen 2, Grythyttan, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-03-11 Created: 2011-03-11 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Walter, UteEdvardsson, BoÖström, Åsa

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