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Customer experiences of phone encounters in a restaurant context
Örebro University, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The research presented in this paper focuses on table reservations made by phone regarded as early events in customers’ total restaurant experiences. A majority of table reservations still are made by phone and there is little research about how reservation phone encounters at restaurants are handled in practice. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe how restaurants handle customers’ reservation phone calls, as documented by customers and whether these voice-to-voice encounters influence customers’ expectations. In addition, customers’ satisfaction with the total dining experience was examined and compared with customers’ perception of the phone encounter. The study was conducted in two steps. First, 209 phone encounters were documented by restaurant customers. Second, customers’ satisfaction with their dining experience was examined using a survey and 47 observations of customers’ ratings of these two points of measurement were compared. The results indicate that organizational routines such as phone reservations and how they are treated by restaurants are an important precondition for customers’ service experiences. For restaurants, especially exclusive à la carte restaurants, there is potential to further develop how they handle phone encounters towards a more proactive approach, keeping in mind that a phone reservation is not only a formal order, but also part of a customer’s total experience.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Household Science; Culinary Arts and Meal Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-15254OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-15254DiVA, id: diva2:410375
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically 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. p. 108
Series
Örebro Studies in Culinary Arts and Meal Science, ISSN 1652-2974 ; 8
Keywords
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, Ute

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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