Characterizing Value as an Experience Implications for Service Researchers and Managers

Journal of Service Research (Impact Factor: 2.73). 02/2012; 15(1):59-75. DOI: 10.1177/1094670511426897


Within contemporary discourse around service-dominant logic, phenomenologically (experientially) determined value has been placed at the center of value discussion. However, a systematic characterization of value in the experience has not been presented to date. In this article, the authors outline four theoretical propositions that describe what value in the experience is, which are then illustrated using a narrative data set. The propositions consider both lived and imaginary value experiences and posit that current service experiences are influenced by previous and anticipated service experiences. The article contributes to the service literature by characterizing value in the experience as an ongoing, iterative circular process of individual, and collective customer sense making, as opposed to a linear, cognitive process restricted to isolated service encounters. The authors recommend that service researchers should consider the use of interpretive methodologies based on the four theoretical propositions outlined in order to better understand the many ways that service customers experience value in their lifeworld contexts, which extend well beyond the service organization’s zone of influence. Service managers should also consider how a richer understanding of past, current, and imaginary value in the context in service customers’ individual lifeworld contexts might generate novel insights for service innovations.

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Available from: Anu Helkkula, Dec 13, 2013
    • "We identify customer characteristics as a crucial aspect in order to understand the processes that determine value creation. Services are inherently personality-intensive, depending on the individuals involved (Normann, 2000) and each customer approaches the service interaction with contextual and idiosyncratic individual differences (Helkkula et al., 2012). It follows that these individual differences and personality traits might moderate the impact of psychological distance on value perceptions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The field of service research has devoted considerable attention to the customer's role as value creator, but there is a lack of research on understanding customers' psychological processes in value creation. This paper highlights the importance of psychological distance in value-creation processes. Psychological distance is the customer's perceived distance from service interactions in terms of spatial distance, temporal distance social distance and hypothetical distance. Critically, psychological distance influences cognitive processes and can influence how customers think and feel about the service interaction. An appreciation of psychological distance within service contexts can help managers to tailor the interaction in order to facilitate value creation. Methodology/approach – In this conceptual paper, we build on psychology research and service research to develop seven propositions that explore how psychological distance can operate within service interactions and how this might influence value creation. Findings – We divide the propositions into three sections. The first concerns how perceived psychological distance from the service interaction can act as a barrier to entering a service interaction. In particular, we consider the influence of social distance and spatial distance within the context of service interactions. The second section examines how psychological distance to the expected point of service use can influence how customers construe the service and the value creation. The third aspect addresses customer-specific characteristics that can impact on value creation by influencing perceived psychological distance toward the service. Research implications – Existing research suggests that customers ultimately decide if value is created in the interaction. This paper proposes that perceived psychological distance influences customers' value creation by examining the service interaction from the customer perspective. We suggest that complex context-specific features of the service interaction can be understood by considering psychological distance from the service interaction and from the service itself and evaluating how this impacts on value-creation processes. Practical implications – From a practical point of view, the paper helps managers to better understand how to manage the service interaction with customers by identifying psychological antecedents of customer value creation. Originality/value – The paper introduces the notion of psychological distance into service research about value, proposing that the customer’s role in creating value in interactions with the service provider is influenced by the psychological distance to the interaction and to the service offered in this interaction.
    Management Decision 01/2016; 53(7). DOI:10.1108/MD-06-2014-0335 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    • "Practice theory and activity theory form the basis for the third new logic, customer-dominant logic, which focuses on the role of the customer in the service (Heinonen et al., 2013). It emphasizes the value-in-experience, customers' activities, and the role of service in them (Helkkula, et al., 2012; Mickelsson, 2014), by which it is possible to extend understanding through shifting attention to customer's world. Three types of customer activity are core activity, related activity, and other activity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Customer activity has received more attention due to the increase of social network applications. Moreover, customer activity could be an answer to the research debate about the significant relationship between retention rate and lifetime profitability of customers. Several researchers believe that an increase in the retention rate of customers may enhance their customer lifetime value (CLV), or their lifetime profitability. Other researchers believe that this relationship does not exist or is not significant, and retention rate alone cannot adequately explain lifetime value. This study aims to tackle this challenge and empirically examines the relationship between retention rate and CLV. Moreover, it investigates whether the activity level of customers increases the relationship between retention rate and CLV. This research has been empirically verified in the banking industry; and various techniques including analytic hierarchy process (AHP), mathematical models, and statistical techniques have been used. The empirical results reveal an exponential correlation between the combination of activity level and retention rate with CLV.
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    • "The underlying need for understanding a dynamic approach for service context is evident in the research that aims to better understand what influences the creation of value and the evaluation of experience (e.g., Akaka et al., 2015; Helkkula et al., 2012). Recently, Helkkula (2011) "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend conceptually the context of service beyond service encounters and servicescapes by applying a service-ecosystem approach to context and experiential view on value. Design/methodology/approach – We develop a conceptual framework of an extended service context that is based on an S-D logic, service-ecosystems view. Findings – The service ecosystem approach proposed here contributes to the advancement of “services” marketing research by extending the context of service in two ways: its emphasis on service as the basis of all exchange allows the consideration of all instances of value-in-use, in-context, to be considered as a service experience; its conceptualization of context broadens the time/place dimensions that conventionally restrain research in service encounters and servicescapes beyond physical, social, symbolic and relational dimensions to consider the multiplicity of institutions across a wider socio-historic space. Research limitations/implications – This paper offers a broad conceptual framework for considering an extended view of service context. Future research is needed, both conceptual and empirical, to identify more specific components of service context and how they influence evaluations of experience. Practical implications – Extending the scope of service context draws attention to the participation of customers and other actors in the co-creation of the service context, as well as the experience. This points toward the need to consider the competences and skills of customers as well as their socio-historic perspective in the design and development of a servicescape or more specific service encounter. Originality/value – We offer a dynamic perspective of service context to help further the reach of services marketing research by extending the context of service across a variety of exchange encounters and pointing toward institutions as a central influence on phenomenological views of experience.
    Journal of Services Marketing 09/2015; DOI:10.1108/JSM-03-2015-0126 · 0.62 Impact Factor
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