Journal of Services Marketing

Published by Emerald
Online ISSN: 0887-6045
Publications
Article
Although marketing functions are basically the same for services and products, there is a significant difference in the organization and implementation for exploiting a competitive advantage in business-to-business services.
 
Article
This article proposes that altruistic cause organizations must adopt a new marketing perspective in order to raise funds in an increasingly difficult environment. This new marketing perspective should begin with a basic understanding of motivations and behavior rather than the mere adoption of specific marketing techniques. The article attempts to provide some insight into donor behavior and suggests ways of translating this insight into marketing practice.
 
Article
Draws on the extant literature in the areas of services marketing, sport tourism and service quality to present a range of concepts and models that have utility in heightening management's appreciation of the complexities of achieving service quality in a sport-tourism context. Emphasis is placed on the multidimensional nature of the issues involved. Generic service and quality concepts and models are tailored to sport tourism through a range of examples. More in-depth illustrations are provided by case material relating to Club La Santa, which is located on the northern coast of Lanzarote. Marketed as "the world's leading sport and leisure resort", La Santa offers all-year-round training and leisure facilities for national and international standard sportsmen and women, as well as less competitive visitors who merely seek exercise and relaxation. The managerial implications of the issues are discussed.
 
Article
There are distinct differences between professional services and other services which affect the way consumers make purchase decisions about them. This paper discusses the differences using the consumer decision process as a framework. Strategy implications for the professional service provider are presented, and specific suggestions are offered to improve the efficiency of the exchange — thereby benefiting both the buyer and the service provider.
 
Article
The internationalization of service firms is expanding dramatically, fueled by recent technological innovations and reductions of trade barriers. Drawing upon Dunning's eclectic theory, firm- and location-specific factors which have been found to be antecedents of internationalization of manufacturing firms are extended to determine their applicability to the internationalization of service firms. The hypotheses are empirically examined through a survey of 228 business-to-business service firms. Findings indicate that the firm-specific factor of firm size and the location-specific factor of market characteristics influence management attitudes toward operating internationally, which in turn influence the degree of internationalization of service firms. Practical implications, drawn from the results, are offered for managers of service firms who are facing the task of internationalizing.
 
The context of technology-enabled service encounters 
Model of touch and tech in technology-enabled service encounters 
Article
Purpose - This paper aims to determine the importance of the human touch in customer service interactions. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on two original studies using tech-savvy respondents, utilizing a survey and scenario-based research. Findings - The paper finds that, even for tech-savvy customers, human touch is an important factor in both customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Research limitations/implications - The study is limited to US respondents and telephone-based service encounters. Practical implications - This paper shows the importance of keeping some aspects of the human touch in customer encounters with the firm. Firms cannot rely on self-service technology for all services. Originality/value - This paper fulfills a gap in the existing services literature, with a specific focus on valuing human interaction in technology-enabled service encounters.
 
Article
Many people undoubtedly assume that S&H Green Stamps have gone out of business. That's far from the case. It is an almost $200 million-a-year business, and it's about to be reborn.
 
Mature banking customers on technology adoption curve
Internet banking adoption barriers  
Perceptions about technology-based services in relation to personal service
Article
Finland is a world leader in electronic banking, and over 39.8 percent of all retail banking transactions were made over the Internet in August 2000. Using the data of a large survey, we analyzed mature customers’ Internet banking behavior. Internet banking was the third popular mode of payment among mature customers. Household income and education were found to have a significant effect on the adoption of the Internet as a banking channel, so that over 30 percent of wealthy and well-educated mature males make e-banking their primary mode of making payments. Perceived difficulty in using computers combined with the lack of personal service in e-banking were found to be the main barriers of Internet banking adoption among mature customers. Internet banking was also found to be more unsecured among mature customers than bank customers in general.
 
Article
Postulates that the use of some key ideas from statistical control thinking can improve service quality. Explores the identification and analysis of gaps in perceptual differences between service customers and service providers as a way of adopting a statistical control philosophy in a service environment. Argues that such a method provides excellent information for creating a true customer-centred approach to service delivery, being practical, simple in operation and useful for both immediate and long-term strategic impact.
 
Article
Comments on the importance of communicating with customers and developing a customer bond. Considers the “Segment-of-One” marketing strategy which can help track, understand and respond to individual customer behaviour. Illustrates the use of this technique with two examples. Concludes that this style of marketing successfully marries old-fashioned service values with the benefits of modern technology which together can help build a business customer by customer on an individual, local, regional or national level.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to consider factors that determine the direction of international market selection. It does this with specific reference to service companies operating in the retail sector. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on general, services and retail specific literature and considers the debate surrounding market selection issue. Hypotheses are formulated and econometrically tested using an extensive database of retailers' international activity within Western European markets. Findings – The results show that previously identified determinants of market selection are valid. However, the results clearly indicate that some factors are more important than the literature has suggested and that the selection of markets is determined in great part by relatively few but crucially important factors. Originality/value – The paper shows that language and hence, by implication, culture plays a fundamental role in determining direction of expansion. This has important implications for the way psychic distance is understood and service company response to psychic distance.
 
Article
Considers the need to select customer contact personnel who already exhibit the desirable trait of adaptability, thus reducing the need for training. Discusses the issue of adaptability in service employees and how to select for adaptability. Examines several methods which can be used in the selection process, such as abstract questioning, situational vignette interviewing, role playing. Concludes that whiletraining is vital for all employees, creative interviewing techniques can help to secure service-oriented employees who represent the most potential for service businesses.
 
Article
Reviews the findings of a study investigating the adoption of a service innovation and the relative importance to consumers in making the adoption decision. Suggests managerial implications and recommendations as a result of the study. Identifies other service industries to which the implications could be relevant. Includes an appendix describing the methodology of the study.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to examine whether culture impacts the execution of financial services advertising (FSA). Specifically, this study investigates how cultural values are reflected in FSA by comparing magazine ads in the USA and Korea. Design/methodology/approach – This study analyzed the content of a total of 1,889 (USA = 1,486; Korea = 403) FSA in print business/news magazines from 2005 to 2009. Findings – The finding of this study showed significant cultural differences of FSA in terms of collectivism, high and low cultural contexts, human models/celebrity presence and time orientation between the USA and Korea. However, the difference in individualistic cues between the USA and Korea was not significant. Research limitations/implications – Using the integration of multiple cultural frameworks will better explain cultural differences reflected in marketing communication in the financial services (FS) sector. Future research is needed to generalize how such frameworks are reflected in different settings, such as different media or different countries. Practical implications – The findings of this study suggest that FSA reflect cultural values, providing further implications for FS companies targeting the global market. Originality/value – This study extends the understanding of impact of cultural values on advertising by exploring the FS industry.
 
Article
Summarizes the topics, challenges and existing knowledge on marketing to older consumers. Discussescontradictory beliefs about older consumers and how to market to them, explaining reasons for these contradictions and stereotypes. Suggests a method for aiding decision makers evaluating information in this market and for formulating strategies. Notes that the field of older consumer behaviour and marketing is still developing.
 
Article
Examines the concept of differentiating product offerings, including consumer services, and positioning them in relation to customer needs and perceptions. Approaches the subject of service positioning via an interesting case study. Concludes with recommended guidelines for the positioning of consumer services, but notes that a case study, whilst a source of interesting insights, is limited since itsobservations may not necessarily be true for other service businesses.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the components that make up an effective service advertisement. Design/methodology/approach – This is achieved by examining a sample of service advertisements that have been recognised for their success. The advertisements are analysed with reference to two areas of discussion; the use of rational and emotional appeals and the presence of three executional tools, i.e. physical representation, documentation and showing the service encounter/provider. The methodology uses a combination of case study approach and a content analysis of effective service advertisements. The appeals are classified utilising the Pollay (1983) list of advertising appeals. The three executional tools are taken from an overview of the main conceptual frameworks. Findings – The majority of advertisements utilise emotional appeals for not only experiential but also utilitarian services. They also provide physical representation of the service and an illustration of the service encounter. The level of documentation in all the advertisements is low. Research limitations/implications – The research is based on a small sample of UK TV advertisements. Practical implications – The findings provide practitioners with an analysis of service advertising campaigns that have been recognised for their effectiveness. It is possible to identify common characteristics in these advertisements which should be considered when creating service advertisements in the future. Originality/value – A study of real-life service advertisements that have been classified as “effective” has not previously been undertaken. The findings are therefore of value to advertising academics and practitioners in that they contribute to our understanding of how advertising works
 
Article
Despite the proliferation of publications relating to service quality, the communication of service quality through advertising remains a largely unexplored topic. Therefore, an exploratory study was undertaken to achieve a better understanding of whether, and how, service providers attempt to communicate quality of their offerings to consumers through advertising. This study revealed that, on average, relatively few quality cues are contained in magazine advertisements for services aimed at consumers. Emanating from this research are several examples and suggestions as to how a services marketer can convey quality through advertising messages.
 
Article
Services marketing is very important to the US economy. This importance is highlighted by information in the Statistical Abstract of the United States (1990) which states that services are 53 percent of personal consumption expenditures. Previous literature suggests that marketing offerings at opposite ends of the product/service continuum are distinct and may require different marketing strategies (for a review see Zeithaml et al., 1985). Due to these differences, many researchers have called for empirical studies to examine if key marketing mix strategies are generalizable from product marketing to service marketing. One critical difference between products and services is the importance of service providers and contact people for service marketing. Several studies have documented the influence of customer contact personnel on consumers' evaluation of service quality and satisfaction with the service (Bitner, 1990; Bitner et al, 1990; Brown and Swartz, 1989). However, prior to purchase potential customers may never find out about a service marketer's quality contact people and service providers if this information is not easily available. Although word-of-mouth may be the most important source of consumer information about service providers, advertising is one way that a service marketer can quickly communicate information about quality contact personnel to potential customers. Several studies have found that consumers prefer detailed advertising information when selecting a professional service provider (Crocker, 1986; Dyer and Shimp, 1980; Lang and Marks, 1980). One researcher also found that increased information in legal advertisements reduced the perceived purchase risk and increased the consumers stated intent to retain the attorney (Crocker 1986). Firms using advertising to convince potential customers that a firm's personnel are superior may also reap a competitive advantage since contact people are a key component of service quality.
 
Article
Tests the effectiveness of three different types of service company employees as advertising spokespersons in an experiment involving print advertisements for a bank and a hotel. Reveals that front-office employees functioned best as print advertising spokespersons and that CEOs were adequate and back-office employees were least effective.
 
Article
Purpose - This paper aims to report on a study that investigated employees' views on the organizational factors that affect their ability to deliver service quality to customers. The study is important because call centers represent unique work environments and they have not been used in the development of service quality theory. Design/methodology/approach - Ten focus groups of frontline employees who work in a telecommunications call center in Australia were conducted. Data were subjected to content analysis. Findings - Nine major themes were identified. Some of these themes are evident in theory arising from service quality gaps, service climate, and service profit chain studies. Other themes include whether managers emphasize sales or efficiency, rather than service quality; approaches to performance monitoring and feedback, role and productivity demands, quality assurance regimes, and employees' experiences of service encounter stress. Research limitations/implications - The findings suggest that various factors from prior work need to be integrated and extended to enhance service quality in call centers. However, data were collected from only one call center. Practical implications - The present study suggests that to deliver high levels of service quality, call center managers need to rethink their approaches to productivity and performance management, and hiring and supporting the "right" service staff. Originality/value - This paper re-examines service quality in the specific context of call centers. It provides an organizational focus and complements recent work that has tested the role of employee attitudes in service quality studies. The paper concludes with a model for testing.
 
Article
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the role of affect evoked among customers of differing expertise within a business-to-business credence service context and examine how this affects overall satisfaction judgements. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the affect and satisfaction literature, the paper examines affective reactions to service delivery within multi-national and regional corporate legal services markets. A two-stage methodology is adopted incorporating explorative interviews and a survey comprising 252 users of corporate legal services. Findings – Findings suggest the customer's ability to form expectation and performance assessments about the core service may have a moderating influence on affective reactions within a business-to-business credence service context. Customers of differing expertise will vary in the way they set service expectations and evaluate service delivery in relation to the technical, functional and affective components. Practical implications – Organisations should devote effort to devising appropriate service delivery processes that are pertinent to the individual customer. This in turn has implications for the recruitment, training and empowerment of employees in credence services that have traditionally focused on technical qualifications and experiential knowledge as the key drivers of human resource management strategies such as recruitment and reward systems. Originality/value – This paper contributes towards an understanding of the role of customer expertise on affect evoked within business-to-business credence services.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze how affective commitment to fellow customers influences a customer's affective commitment to the service provider and customer citizenship behavior (CCB). In addition, the paper seeks to examine the moderating role of a customer's calculative commitment to the service organization. Design/methodology/approach – The study used a large-scale survey among customers of a health club and a scenario-based experiment to test the hypotheses. Findings – Both empirical studies provide evidence that affective commitment to fellow customers has positive consequences for the customer-firm-relationship. The findings suggest that commitment to fellow customers and commitment to the service organization influence very specific facets of customer citizenship behavior. In addition, the study found preliminary support for the moderating role of calculative commitment. Affective commitment to fellow customers showed the strongest effect on affective commitment to the provider in customer-firm relationships characterized by high (versus low) calculative commitment. Practical implications – The results of this research have a number of managerial implications. This study suggests measures to strengthen customer-firm-relationships, e.g. generating intensive exchange among customers or attraction of consumer pairs. Providing customers with platforms of valuable relationships to multiplex ties can be a competitive advantage for service providers. Originality/value – This article is the first that highlights the role of other customers as a target of customer commitment and how this commitment affects both the customer's relationship to the service provider and his or her customer citizenship behavior. The present study therefore broadens our knowledge of how bonding among customers influences consumer behavior in service settings.
 
Article
Aims to bring clarity to the concept of affinity and distinguish it from other marketing‐related terms. Offers guidelines for differentiating three general levels of affinity groups, and suggests respective strategic implications. Suggests further a taxonomy for classifying sources, from which various types of affinity may emerge. Presents a format relating the affinity levels with the taxonomy as a general guideline for developing a marketing plan. Finally, discusses future opportunities for this technique.
 
Article
Considers the view that marketing practitioners must understand how behavioural forces affect strategic decisions, in order to avoid mistakes. Argues that such knowledge is just as important as understanding customers and the marketplace. Demonstrates how dysfunctional behavioural forces can cause marketing errors, offering guidelines for preventing them.
 
Article
Notes how marketing philosophy and practices have become increasingly important in the financial services industry. Uses a segmentation approach to understanding consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction and choice behaviour in relation to affluence in the financial services market. Offers guidelines from this segmental approach for devising appropriate marketing strategies. Concludes that deregulation in the financial services industry has led to a lack of operation differentiation on several levels.
 
Article
Considers the proliferation of products and services in the financial services industry aimed at different market segments. Highlights the affluent and nonaffluent market segments. Employs statistical analysis of survey data to evaluate the financial services needs, attitudes, and information-seeking behaviour of these segments. Suggests implications for the managers of financial institutions, based on the study findings. Includes appendices on methodology and discriminant analysis used in the study.
 
Article
Argues that marketers must consider more than ever the aging consumer. Considers the three demographic issues which must be taken into account before a strategy can be developed: first, stereotypes regarding the aging consumer must be disregarded; second, the aging consumer is not an isolated entity; and third, the aging consumer of the future will be very different from the aging consumer of today. Examines issues such as segmentation by age, marital status, buying power, changes in the work ethic, health, all of which have implications for the marketer.
 
Article
Discusses the importance of qualitative data from customers in customer satisfaction measurement programs. Presents results of a study which is based on customer comments, using airline flight attendants as the target customer population. Indicates that qualitative data can produce actionable information as well as explanations for the nature of quantitative customer satisfaction data. Provides implications for management.
 
Article
The primary objectives of this study are to determine if consumer expectations and perceptions of airline service quality vary by nationality. The study also examines whether the relative importance attributed to service quality dimensions in domestic settings can be replicated internationally. An empirical examination of airline passengers is conducted for airlines competing on the transatlantic corridor using a survey instrument in three languages. The study is the first application of an existing model, SERVQUAL, to examine consumer expectations and perceptions in an international environment. It differs from earlier published SERVQUAL research in two significant respects; first, it applies the model internationally in a general classification of business, i.e. international airline service, rather than to individual domestic business enterprises. Second, it applies a portion of the SERVQUAL model to assess service quality by comparing the expectations and perceptions that European and US airline passengers have of both European and US airline groups.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine “nasty” retail shopping experiences. The paper aims to consider implications of distrust related to theft control measures in retail customer service. Design/methodology/approach – Storytelling as a “memory-work” method draws on phenomenology, hermeneutics, and the narrative. Researchers and participants worked together as co-researchers to analyze and interpret “lived” experiences contained in their written personal stories. The authors extend this understanding in the context of existing literature. Findings – Distrust pervaded the stories, which focused on shoplifting accusations (real and imagined). As a violation of implicit trust, distrust provoked intense moral emotions, damaged identities, and fuelled retaliation. Findings illustrate a pervasive downward “spiral of distrust” in the retail context. Practical implications – Results suggest that retailers use store personnel rather than technological surveillance to control theft. Interacting with customers and displaying cooperation builds respect, trust, and relationships and may deter theft. Retailers should add signs of trust and remove signs of distrust from retail environments. They cannot rely on service recovery to appease customers disgruntled by distrust. Social implications – When retailers act as if they care, customers reciprocate, creating upward trust spirals and stronger communities. Originality/value – A dark side to retail loss-prevention tactics is demonstrated in the paper. Surveillance signals distrust, which repels customers and resists service recovery. Concepts of spirals of distrust and trust to the services marketing literature are introduced. The spirals illustrate how distrust destroys and trust builds relationships and communities. Furthermore, ideas are offered about ways to start upward trust spirals.
 
Article
Proposes that the Older American market cannot be viewed as a homogeneous market. Describes an attempt to define segments within this market based lifestyle variations. Shows that of the six clusters emerged from the analysis, four seemed to hold the greatest potential for marketers: the Self Reliant, the Active Retirees, the family Oriented, and the Young and Secures. Concludes that the few demographic differences among the segments support the importance of using lifestyle variables to segment this large heterogeneous market.
 
Article
Discusses a new method of market segmentation in the mature market. Develops a model based on research in various disciplines and data from various studies. Suggests that this model is more effective than some traditional methods, not only in identifying segments but also in choosing marketing strategies for reaching specific segments of the mature market.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the effect of similarity in a customer-to-customer-relationship and of perceived performance risk as a boundary condition in a service setting. Design/methodology/approach – Following theoretical methodology, hypotheses were developed in order to analyze the effect of similarity as well as perceived performance risk. An experimental scenario-based design was used to manipulate similarity and performance risk and to test the hypotheses. Findings – The analysis reveals that similarity is an important dimension in the customer-to-customer-relationship. Positive similarity effects are shown in relation to subjects' willingness to interact with present customers, joining and recommending a service provider, and subjects' evaluation of the service provider. A mediating effect of positive emotions (joy and interest) on the link between similarity and willingness to interact with customers present is shown. Performance risk is also discovered as a boundary condition under which the predicted relationships are weakened. Practical implications – This study suggests that similarity in the customer-to-customer-relationship leads to positive effects. If managers take this into account, their business may benefit from these positive effects. The study offers suggestions on how to “manage” customers' similarity. Originality/value – As this study is one of the first empirical studies to concentrate on the effect of similarity in a customer-to-customer-relationship, it is meaningful. Moreover significant effects are shown; further research ideas are developed and management implications are proposed.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this research paper is to examine the impact of a number of variables on the adoption of strategic pricing by industrial service firms, and the effect of this adoption on company performance. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 301 industrial service firms operating in seven different service sectors through a mail survey. Moreover, qualitative research through 35 in-depth interviews was conducted. Findings – The findings reveal that market orientation and market growth boost the development of strategic pricing. On the other hand, technological and market turbulence hinder this development, while the overall impact of turbulence is reduced in market-oriented firms. Finally, strategic pricing has a positive impact on company performance in both quantitative and qualitative terms. Research limitations/implications – The adoption of strategic pricing requires attention to a variety of company- and market-related factors, while this adoption can improve various aspects of company performance. The addition of other moderating and mediating effects could certainly provide additional insights. Originality/value – The current study represents one of the first attempts to empirically examine the above topics in an industrial service context.
 
Article
Reports in a segmentation study conducted to determine whether consumer-based variables such as activities, interests and opinions could be used to segment markets based on service quality expectations. Identifies those consumer-based variables found to be significantly related to service quality dimensions and discusses their managerial significance to the healthcare market.
 
Article
Purpose – Organizations must base success on consumer retention predicated on the consumer's desire to repurchase. Some organizations, such as those providing emotionally charged and complex services in the performing arts, find this difficult. Knowledge of the role of emotions in customer judgments is negligible. The relationship of core service quality and peripheral quality on repurchase intent is also understudied. This paper aims to model and test the interrelationship of these constructs in predicting repurchase intention in a performing arts context. Design/methodology/approach – A survey instrument tailored to the performing arts was administered to a sample of 250 past and present performing arts audience members, with responses examined using structural equation modeling. Findings – Results indicate repurchase intention is largely based on satisfaction mediated by perceived value. Core service quality, appraisal emotion and peripheral service quality influence perceived value for time and money, with core service quality and peripheral service quality in turn influencing appraisal emotion. Appraisal emotion directly affects customer satisfaction but has no direct relationship to repurchase intention. Peripheral service quality, however, directly affects repurchase intention. Practical implications – Evidence suggests expansion of the strategic focus to include peripheral services in order to maximize repurchase. Core service quality, (the act) affects repurchase intent through an indirect path mediated by appraisal emotion, which does not directly influence repurchase intent. Appraisal emotions are influential in determining perceived value. Originality/value – This is the first known paper combining this system of relationships including the influence and role of appraisal emotion in the performing arts context. Yes Yes
 
Article
Explains that efficient service delivery can often present a problem for marketers due to the nature of the services. Summarizes the two general methods already suggested for improving the efficiency of service delivery – technological and humanistic. Discusses managerial guidelines for the implementation of these approaches to service delivery in several service industries, based on two service classification schemes.
 
Article
While much is known about services marketing in the West, little is known about its practices in the East. This study attempts to fill this gap. It employs an eclectic methodology to survey the services marketing scene in the Arab Gulf states. An initial East-West comparison is attempted throughout, reasons for differences are offered, and managerial implications are pointed out. The study provides convincing evidence for the pervasive effects of environmental constraints on characteristics of services produced in a given society. It suggests that services are a mirror of their contextual society; reflecting its history, culture, and national circumstances, including the stage of its socioeconomic development and the pattern of its resource availability.
 
Article
Quantitative methodology and qualitative methodology are not mutually exclusive. Yet much of consumer research is undertaken from the point of view that an object or state should either be counted, weighed, and measured or be described in terms of human feelings and intuitions. By development of a long-run orientation and a pluralistic approach to research designs, soft data and hard data can be combined in complementary ways. This commentary suggests a practical combination of research methods and uses a recent case example to illustrate.
 
Article
Purpose – This paper sets out to provide a step towards simplifying and shortening loyalty surveys for marketers and to summarise and to categorise more than 30 survey-based loyalty measures administered in previous academic surveys. Design/methodology/approach – This research took a step back from theory to re-define the concept of loyalty. An exploratory perspective using two service markets was taken to examine a broad range of survey-based loyalty measures. Findings – The results of this research provide support for the more recent view that there are different ways in which customers can be loyal. The results of this research suggest that attitudinal loyalty could be the most important dimension for marketers to monitor. The exploratory method selected in this research suggests that dimensions of loyalty may include propensity to be loyal, behavioural intentions, complaining behaviour, resistance to competing offers, attitudinal loyalty and behavioural loyalty. Practical implications – There are important managerial implications arising from this research. First, loyalty should be considered as more than one thing. Second, this research has provided a step towards consolidating a wide range of survey-based loyalty measures that exist in the academic literature, helping to simplify loyalty measurement for marketers. This research paper provides a guide of the better survey-based measures by identifying “pure” measures of loyalty for marketers. Marketers will be able to better understand what type of loyalty a measure captures. Originality/value – Valuable for marketers who can be helped to simplify and shorten their surveys by better understanding what type of loyalty a survey measure captures and which measures may be most appropriate for their needs. Yes Yes
 
Article
This paper is aimed at association managers and market advisors. It explores how associations balance their provision of different services, the potential for associations to provide new services, and the relevance of service “bundling”. A new survey of small firm use of associations in Britain shows that there are few differences between businesses by sector in their use of association services, but membership does significantly increase with firm size, and there is a pattern of “joiners” who belong to many associations, and “non-joiners”. There is considerable evidence of the benefits of bundling a range of low-cost, low-intensity services. But actual use levels of services are low. Even joiners of many associations seem to use association membership chiefly as an insurance principle: to gain ready access to a range of services “just in case”. Analysis of the potential for new services suggests a few potential new specific niches that are related chiefly to strengthening existing service bundles emphasising the insurance principle.
 
Article
Over the past 20 years the commercial importance of services has been realised, highlighting the importance of research to understand service brands and their meaning for consumers. However, to date, the branding models developed lack empirical testing, are derived from the perspective of brand practitioners rather than consumers, and pay little attention to the branding of services. This study seeks consumer-based information via qualitative and quantitative methods regarding brand dimensions that hold meaning to consumers for branded services. The results indicate a number of key dimensions that are important to consumers for both goods and services, such as core product/service, experience with brand and image of user. Dimensions such as feelings and self-image congruence were not found to be important, while word-of-mouth, servicescape, and employees held importance for branded services. The results also indicate significant relationships for brand dimension importance and brand associations, associations and attitudes, and attitudes and intentions. The results suggest important implications for brand managers, in addition to providing a platform on which future research can be built to further understand service branding. Yes Yes
 
Article
Addresses two shortcomings of service quality empirical research. Investigates the importance of service quality as a predictor of actual choice behaviour and examines the importance of process and outcome quality attributes as predictors of choice. Uses regression analysis to investigate the importance of service quality attributes on choice. Suggests that consumers utilise multiple process and outcome quality attributes in their choices.
 
Results of the Analysis 
Article
Purpose – This study aims to develop a model based on attribution theory and intercultural literature to explain the underlying customer satisfaction process in intercultural service encounters. Design/methodology/approach – In-depth interviews were used to develop an understanding of customer experience and evaluations in intercultural service encounters. A quasi-experiment with 236 customers was used to empirically examine the relationships between perceived culture distance, cultural attribution, intercultural competence and customer satisfaction. Findings – Perceived culture distance is positively related to customer satisfaction, with cultural attribution mediating the relationship between perceived cultural distance and customer satisfaction, and partially mediating the moderating effect of intercultural competence on the relationship between perceived culture distance and customer satisfaction. Research limitations/implications – This study focuses on cultural attribution in intercultural service encounters. It is acknowledged that there are other attribution dimensions such as stability and controllability which may interact with perceived culture distance and influence subsequent customer satisfaction evaluation. Future research should consider these various dimensions and examine their mediating role in customer satisfaction. Practical implications – It is recommended that service firms educate their customers of diverse cultures about local norms and practices, and proactively manage their expectations throughout the service experience. Originality/value – Despite the growing importance of intercultural service encounters, the findings of the relationship between perceived cultural distance and customer satisfaction are mixed. This study contributes to the literature by advancing our theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence of the role of cultural attribution and intercultural competence in intercultural service encounters.
 
A model of customers' switching behavior 
Article
The quality of service delivery and maintenance of service performance relationships potentially depend on the extent to which service providers and service receivers share similar beliefs about a service and its delivery. Congruent expectations facilitate maintenance of service relationships, while disparate cognitions of expectations encumber and work toward terminating relationships (switching behavior). An empirical investigation of service switching in a child-care setting reveals that highly educated child-care consumers place more importance on the service encounter, and are more likely to engage in negative word-of-mouth about the service in the event of failure. However, in terms of service switching, the perceptions of child-care providers are significantly different from those of consumers when attributing causes of switching, and examining post-switching behavior. Provides practical implications for childcare providers, and service providers, in general. Yes Yes
 
Article
Notes that current thinking places an appropriate culture near the top of the list of important ingredients for successfully marketing services. Examines the concept of marketing culture in detail. Provides a method for assessing the marketing culture of a service firm. Outlines the details of the audit together with possible applications.
 
Article
Argues that customer service operations require independent, preferably annual, reviews which can becarried out via a customer service audit. Explains that such an audit can serve as an early warning system to identify any emerging problems before they become serious. Identifies the aspects which should be investigated in a customer service audit and suggests a five-stage process which can be adopted. Concludes that the findings of an audit should be presented in a report and offered in a spirit of co-operation, as they are designed to highlight opportunities for improvement and strategic changes rather than to fix blame.
 
Article
Evaluates customers' and employees' service quality expectations and perceptions from the example of a hospital environment. Considers employees' responses in administrative and nonadministrative categories. Notes differences between the groups and discusses the managerial implications arising from the differences found. Includes a detailed description of the methodology involved in the study.
 
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address two important gaps in the brand love and consumer-brand relationships literatures. First, this study investigates several interpersonal antecedents of brand love in a services setting. Second, this study examines the differential influence of the valence of the service delivery process and the way that brand love develops under qualitatively varied conditions.Design/methodology/approach – A between-subjects experiment that varied the valence of the service delivery process (positive/negative) in a relational context was designed to examine the influence of interpersonal antecedents across service delivery levels on brand love.Findings – This study provides empirical support for the importance of interpersonal antecedents in driving brand love in service relationships. The results also reveal an asymmetrical pattern of effects between study variables across positive and negative service delivery levels. Research limitations/implications – These findings can help service firms to better understand the role of interpersonal influences in development of emotional bonds with current customers and to develop strategies to nurture brand love under positive and negative circumstances.Originality/value – This research helps to establish the transferability of interpersonal love into the services domain and brings service employees and the social aspects of exchange into the discussion of brand love. The research findings suggest consumers have the propensity to perceive and respond to service firms as active participants in relational exchanges and to use their interaction with frontline employees as a basis for developing brand love.
 
Top-cited authors
Anna Mattila
  • Pennsylvania State University
Jeffrey Blodgett
  • University of Houston – Victoria
Kirk L. Wakefield
  • Baylor University
Jochen Wirtz
  • National University of Singapore
Lloyd C. Harris
  • University of Birmingham