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2019 Volume XIX(2): 28-41
Acta academica karviniensia DOI: 10.25142/aak.2019.012
28
BUILDING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT
[Budování konkurenční výhody prostřednictvím řízení zákaznické zkušenosti]
David Havíř1
1 Brno university of technology, Faculty of business and management, Kolejní 2906/4, 612 00 Brno
Email: david.havir@vutbr.cz
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore and analyze interdependence of marketing trend customer
experience, value creation and perception and price sensitivity as potential building blocks for
differentiation. This paper is based on the collection and analysis of both primary and secondary data.
The primary data were acquired from service providers and through an online questionnaire on customer
experience, perceived value, and price in the city transportation realm. The secondary data were
obtained through thorough the research of Web of Knowledge-indexed scientific articles from the years
20152018 on these topics. The analysis of the secondary data revealed close interconnections between
the subjects of interest customer experience, value creation and perception, and price. Customer
experience is considered to be the tool for value creation and co-creation, the key for differentiation,
but also the necessary area to focus on and manage to stay relevant on the market. The findings from
the primary research support the theoretical findings in the Czech city transportation domain. The
research identifies customer experience improvements (e.g., personalization, customization, comfort,
speed, trust, simplification, modern technology integration, seamlessness, balancedness) which city
transportation newcomers used to differentiate from the deep-rooted competition. These improvements
brought added and easily perceived value to the customers, helped to build and strengthen brand image
and eroded the existing customer loyalty.
Keywords: customer experience, value, transport, uber, sharing economy, differentiation.
JEL classification: M31, R40
Received: 8.1.2019; Reviewed: 18.2.2019; 13.5.2019; Accepted: 19.6.2019
Introduction
With ever-difficult conditions for gaining a competitive advantage on the open global market
and emerging innovative ideas in the area of marketing, first, the research paper focuses on the
original examination of phenomenon of customer experience and its relation to value creation
and customer’s value perception, and pricing from the theoretical point of view and second, the
evaluation of the findings and revelation of trends of customer experience improvement in the
area of city transportation. While air transportation is quite popular in the customer experience
research sphere, city transportation did not receive much attention, and the focus of this paper
on public transportation, taxi service, and ride-sharing service (Uber) and their comparisons is
conclusively original.
The research paper is divided into four parts. The first part introduces the topic of customer
experience, value creation and sharing economy. The second part describes research objective,
used research methods and nature of collected and analyzed data. The third part presents
primary and secondary research findings and discusses the results. The last part conclusions
summarizes the links between customer experience and value creation in the shared economy,
provides recommendations, limitations and suggests the directions for future research.
1 Theoretical background
A global open market, technological innovations and the resulting commoditization of goods
and services put companies in very difficult and complex conditions for differentiation and
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29
places the obstacles to the area of competitiveness and thus complicates the process of gaining
competitive advantage. It then affects important areas like value creation, pricing, customers’
value perception, customer retention or loyalty. Therefore, companies are exploring new ways
to surpass the competitors to secure their position on the market. The marketing concept of
customer experience has been in the management and academic spotlight for several years now
and seems to be the one of the promising differentiation factors and tool for overcoming
challenging characteristics of today’s B2C market (Johnston & Kong 2011; Klaus & Maklan
2013; McColl-Kennedy et al. 2015a). City transportation, due to technological innovations and
lifestyle shifts, is expected to go through significant changes. At the same time, the city
transportation network plays a major role in term of whole design and nature of the cities. Based
on these facts, city transportation should be taken very seriously by all the stakeholders, from
B2C, B2B, C2C to public services.
1.1 Customer Experience
Customer experience is, in the essence and from a historical point of view, the next evolutionary
step of the previous marketing approaches of customer satisfaction and customer relationship
management (Schmitt 2003). Due to globalization, rapid technological innovations, the
resulting commoditization of goods and services, and the insufficient focus on customer’s point
of view, it was increasingly necessary to move from the focus on the product, service, and data
collection about customers to the new focus area for the possible differentiation. And the
concept of customer experience, which is very complex output encompassing the whole
customer lifecycle of the company for another company or individual customer, has become
just that (Klaus & Maklan 2013; Meyer & Schwager 2007).
Customer experience management is based on the earlier arguing that people buy goods and
services to fulfill their deeper emotional, sensory, hedonic aspirations and so put great emphasis
on how they experience and perceive processes that are necessary for them to achieve their
aspirations and higher-order goals (Maklan & Klaus 2011). Customer experience is defined as
the holistic result of all the customer’s personal interactions, that can be decomposed into
various cognitive, affective, emotional, social and physical responses, between the customer
and the brand, from the initial phase of discovering the brand, through the comparison of
various substitutes, purchase, ownership to post-purchase activities such as recommendation
(Gentile et al. 2007; Verhoef et al. 2009). The experiences emerge from all types of customer’s
interactions and resulting responses, for example, to the advertisement, packaging,
functionality, usage, reliability or customer support (Meyer & Schwager 2007). And these
customer’s experiences further translate into the customer’s memories that influence all future
experiences (Oh et al. 2007). So that it is very important and also very difficult to manage
customer experience due to its complex nature with its various multi-disciplinary parts and
blurred lines between them (Maklan & Klaus 2011; McColl-Kennedy et al. 2015a).
The main outcome of the customer experience management, and why it is important to take it
seriously, is the increase of customers’ satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and strengthening of the
emotional bonds between the customer and the brand (Kumar et al. 2013).
1.2 Value Creation
Value creation process can be defined as the creation of company’s outputs that provide
advantage or benefit to the customer from its usage, undergoing or consumption, which leads
to the fulfillment of the customer’s needs (Hassan 2012; Banyte & Dovaliene 2014; Grönroos
2008; Vargo & Lusch 2008). The traditional view on the value creation is based on the arguing
that the supplier of the outputs has all the value creation processes and the form of resulting
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value, subsequently perceived by the customer, under its control. Miller et al. (2002) define
value as output that company provides to the customer that will help him to simplify his life.
Sawhney et al. (2006) have the same general view on the value, they state that to create value
to the customer means to solve some of his problems. Tuli et al. (2007) connect value with the
fulfillment of customer’s needs. Brax a Jonsson (2009) state that value emerges when a
customer gets more in the output, then was his input. Strandvik et al. (2012) see the value in
freeing customer from some of his responsibilities and Woodruff (1997) perceive the value
more psychologically, as the output of the company that supports the customer’s peace of mind
or brings him carefreeness in some way.
Strandvik et al. (2012) also oppose the traditional view with statement that customers do not
evaluate value separately for individual sellers, products or services, instead they perceive it in
the context of product and service sets and these sets, links and integrations between them have
a significant impact on the resulting perceived experience (Vargo & Lusch 2004). Kelleher &
Helkkula (2010), Sawhney et al. (2006) emphasize the factor of long-term use and interaction,
when the perceived value may change over time. At the same time, Echeverri & Skålen (2011)
add that all interactions are influenced by the customer’s feelings, attitudes, satisfaction, and
experiences. It follows that value is not created just by the company through its product or
service but is also co-created with the customer and influenced by other important factors. There
are also two views on value creation, the value resulting from its delivery or exchange between
the customer and provider, and value resulting from the usage (Grönroos 2008; Vargo & Lusch
2008).
1.3 Sharing economy
The sharing economy, in other words, collaborative economy or peer-to-peer economy, is based
on the fact that people don't really want to own things, but they want results these things bring
them (Denning 2014; Horáková 2003). Christensen et al. (2016) call these results with the term
"jobs to be done" and consider its understanding and consideration to be key to the success of
business innovation. Botsman & Rogers (2010) state that move to the sharing economy leads
through internet-based peer-to-peer platforms that connect customers and providers and enable
them to effectively share resources, tools, vehicles, accommodation, and more at lower
transaction costs.
The European Commission (2016) and the Government of the Czech Republic (2017) define
sharing economy as the area encompassing all the business models (e.g. C2C, C2B, B2C, B2B)
primarily based on transaction (often without a change of the ownership) between peers
(seeking or not seeking profit), where activities are facilitated by collaborative platforms that
create an open marketplace for the temporary use of products or services. The European
Commission (2018) identifies short-term letting, passenger transport, household services,
professional and technical services, and collaborative finance as the five key sectors of sharing
economy in terms of revenue in the European Union. These sectors are also key, in a given
order, in the environment of the Czech Republic (European Commission 2018; Government of
the Czech Republic 2017).
2 Research objective, methodology and data
The aim of this paper is to analyze links and influences between customer experience, value
creation and perception and price in the area of city transportation and in general for the
potential revelation of the focus area for gaining competitive advantage, through the adoption
of customer experience management.
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Theoretical findings are based on the secondary research based on qualitative and quantitative
analysis of the research papers, mainly collected from Web of Science database, with keyword
filter set on customer experience and value creation research topics and publishing date between
20152018. Within this timeframe, 433 scientific articles on customer experience and 2269
scientific articles on value creation were published. The set of research articles covering both
topics counts just nineteen articles. This set was then extended by additional six scientific
articles related to both customer experience and value creation. They were obtained from deeper
analysis of 357 customer experience articles, from years 20162018 indexed in the Web of
Knowledge database, conducted for parallel research. The dimensional scheme of customer
experience resulting from this research also serves as a support for this research (Havíř &
Machala 2018).
The primary data about customer experiences and perceptions were collected through an online
questionnaire on customer experience in city transportation (public transportation, taxi, ride-
sharing services) containing a combination of open, semi-open and closed questions. The target
audience was the general public in the Czech Republic. The number of respondents counts 85
people, 44% were male, 56% were female, 9% were under 18 years old, 38% were between 18
and 24 years old, 46% were between 25 and 34 years old and 7% were older than 34 years old.
Most respondents fall into the group of younger generations Y and Z as these generations
are the ones that participate in the sharing economy the most and are the most active on social
networks the environment where the questionnaire was distributed (Czech statistical office
2018; Denning 2014). Each respondent was asked for: basic personal information, usage of
transportation-related smartphone applications and accounts, up to three keywords with whom
he/she would describe each transportation option, evaluation of the customer transportation
journey and its critical parts and characteristics and personal suggestions on experience
improvements.
Next set of primary data about pricing, was collected from the city transportation service
providers smartphone applications during November 2018. For ensuring the highest possible
credibility and link between primary data sources, the TripAdvisor service database storing
most popular places to visit was chosen, and fifty most popular places to visit in Prague used
as destinations for the city transportation routes. The city of Prague was selected because it is
the only city in the Czech Republic where one of our subjects of interest, ride-sharing
representative Uber operates and where the most varied offer of city transportation options
is. Beside Uber and Prague public transit, AAA Taxi, Nejlevnější taxi, TICK TACK Taxi,
Green Prague Taxi, HOPIN Taxi, Taxify (Bolt), and Liftago were chosen as the taxi category
representatives. This set of providers was compiled based on the intersection of App Store
search results, trending innovative taxi services in Prague, the presence of taxi brands on several
points of interests in Prague during parallel case study, and offer of smartphone application
with desirable basic functionality such as route planning and price estimation. An average price
for each route was calculated from lower and upper endpoint of the presented price interval in
both scenarios when demand for service was normal and when demand was high.
3 Results and discussion
Primary research findings
Keywords respondents used to describe each type of city transportation were semantically
analyzed and grouped by polarity positive (+), neutral, negative (-) and by linkage to the
specific customer experience dimension. For purpose of this research, the sub-dimension called
price was separated from its high-level dimension. Rating for each transportation type was then
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32
calculated as the difference between positive and negative keywords for all dimensions as well
as the absolute total difference.
Table 1: Keyword classification based on polarity and customer experience dimension linkage
Source: Own research.
Perception of the price in case of public transport was very positive (40:2), for Uber positive
(20:7) and for taxi very negative (0:66). The most numerous customer experience dimension is
for all transportation options product/service dimension. In this case, taxi transportation has the
best rating (62:10), followed by public transport (66:25) and Uber in the last place (47:20). The
third common and significant customer experience dimension by the number of keywords is
the environment, where taxi (22:1) and Uber (23:0) are almost on par and public transport
falling behind (1:27). From the high-level perspective, all three options can be compared by the
overall perception, subtraction of positive and negative keywords. Taxi has the lowest score
(5), public transport has a much higher score than the taxi (38) and the highest score belongs to
Uber (60). Uber’s experience is also by far the most balanced with the lowest sum of absolute
differences (68), followed by public transport (120) and taxi (141). The collection of price data
on fifty different routes in Prague was conducted to find the context for the customer’s
perception of the price.
The calculated average prices for each transportation option (24,17 CZK for Prague Public
Transit, 118,63 CZK for Green Prague Taxi, 122,70 CZK for Nejlevnější Taxi, 130,60 CZK
for HOPIN Taxi, 139,04 CZK for AAA Taxi, 147,64 CZK for Taxify, 149,38 CZK for Uber,
162,89 CZK for Liftago and 165,62 CZK for TICK TACK Taxi) show that public transport
(Prague Public Transit) is indeed and by far the cheapest option of all to travel in Prague and
the data corresponds with the customer’s perception. On the other hand, perceptions of Uber
and taxi prices do not match with the reality. If the taxi group is taken in the wider perspective
with all options except Prague Public Transit and Uber, the calculated average price is 141,02
CZK. If taxi aggregation services Liftago, Taxify, and HOPIN Taxi are excluded, the average
price drops to 136,50 CZK. The average price for Uber ride is 149,38 CZK and so it is higher
than the average price in both previous taxi cases. There is a certain possibility then, that price
perception is not just rational processing of quantitative data. Moreover, as perception of the
service is better for taxi (62:10) than for Uber (47:20), customers might be more willing to
accept the potential higher price for the taxi service, but it is not the case and so deeper
examination of the customer journey perception comes into consideration.
Customer
experience
dimension
Public transport
Taxi
Ride-sharing (Uber)
+
-
Δ
|Δ|
+
-
Δ
|Δ|
+
-
Δ
|Δ|
Price
40
2
38
38
0
66
-66
66
20
7
13
13
Product/Service
66
25
41
41
62
10
52
52
47
20
27
27
Environment
1
27
-26
26
22
1
21
21
23
0
23
23
Other customers
0
15
-15
15
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Employees
0
0
0
0
2
4
-2
2
1
5
-4
4
Customer
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
2
SUM
107
69
38
120
86
81
5
141
93
32
61
69
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Evaluation of given customer journey by questionnaire respondents points to the experiential
shortage during the payment stage for taxi transportation and corresponds with the customers’
negative perception of the price. This particular taxi service stage has at the same time the
widest difference (49) between positive and negative evaluations (4:53) of all stages and
through all three transportation options. The second widest gap (32) is, on the other hand,
positive (38:6) and belongs to the Uber ride. The third widest gap (28) has the ride stage of
public transport (11:39).
Table 2: Evaluation of the transportation customer journey.
Customer journey stage
Public transport
Ride-sharing
(Uber)
+
-
Δ
|Δ|
+
-
Δ
|Δ|
+
-
Δ
|Δ|
Route planning, selection/order of vehicle
31
28
3
3
28
19
9
9
39
18
21
21
Move to the stop/pick-up place
19
34
-15
15
20
17
3
3
19
17
2
2
Search for the right vehicle and getting into it
21
18
3
3
16
16
0
0
21
25
-4
4
Ride itself
11
39
-28
28
39
9
30
30
38
6
32
32
Leaving vehicle, exit point
26
11
15
15
20
7
13
13
21
10
11
11
Payment for the service, purchase of the ticket
21
20
1
1
4
53
-49
49
24
22
2
2
SUM
129
150
-21
65
127
121
6
104
162
98
64
72
Source: Own research.
The positive correlation with customer’s negative perception of the taxi price can also be found
in respondents’ evaluation of the transportation’s more detailed characteristics and critical
points. In the case of the taxi, the most negatively perceived characteristics by far are the
unknown price before the service and price itself. For public transportation, it is privacy and
comfort in the means of transportation and for Uber, it is surge pricing and uncertified drivers.
From all the transportation options, Uber is perceived most positively (64) and also very equally
(72) across the whole customer journey. It is followed by taxi, where the number of positive
and negative evaluations is almost same (6), but it has the highest sum of absolute differences
across the whole customer journey (104), so the polarity of opinions on each stage varies
greatly. Public transportation is from overall perspective perceived negatively (-21) but has the
lowest absolute difference (65) so the experience may be described as the most balanced from
all three options.
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Table 3: Three most positively and negatively perceived characteristics of each option of city
transportation
Public transport
(positive:negative)
Taxi
(positive:negative)
Ride-sharing (Uber)
(positive:negative)
Positive
1
Possibility to use smartphone
application (67:4)
Comfort in the car (62:5)
Possibility to rate the driver
(53:4)
2
Speed of finding the connection
(66:9)
Speed of transport (57:6)
Known fixed price (52:6)
3
Known fixed price (64:7)
Choice of pick-up
location as needed (56:5)
Choice of pick-up location as
needed (51:5)
Negative
1
Privacy in the means of transport
(8:60)
Unknown price before the
service (9:64)
Surge pricing (15:24)
2
Comfort in the means of transport
(19:46)
Price (5:62)
Uncertified drivers (16:21)
3
Need to obtain a ticket (23:35)
Order speed (38:24)
Knowledge of the city by the
driver (29:15)
Source: Own research.
From the evolutionary perspective, taxi transportation addressed the most negative
characteristics of public transportation but brought several negative factors in terms of the
payment process. Uber then addressed these experimental shortcomings and brought the best
of both previous options. And new services that aggregate taxi drivers and taxi companies and
offer their service through own platforms, such as examined Liftago, Taxify, and HOPIN Taxi,
follow up on Uber’s success and combine positive characteristics of Uber and wipe some of its
negative factors by maintaining taxi characteristics e.g. certified professional taxi drivers. Yet,
negative perception of the taxi service in terms of pricing and payment process persists which
supports the statement, that experiences translates into memories and influence future
perceptions and experiences.
Secondary research findings
Ostrom et al. (2015) see the understanding of customer’s perception of value and experience as
two major value creation priorities in service research. They state that services are increasingly
being delivered through value chains and so coherence and integration between partners is
essential for seamless customer experience.
Jaakkola et al. (2015) argue that shared experience and co-creation of value have a common
prerequisite for success the inclusion of customer’s perspective. They are of the opinion that
technology can help co-creation, but the value itself is based on feelings invoked at the human
level, from personal and emotional connections between the service provider and the customer.
Therefore, the memories of these shared experiences and the atmosphere the company has
created to support and strengthen mutual connections with the customer are the benchmarks in
which customers continually asses the value of all future experiences with both the company
and the competitors. Jaakkola et al. (2015) also point out that in terms of value creation and in
marketing overall it is necessary to study experience, i.e. how the experience is transformed to
the final value for the customer. Vargo & Lusch (2016), also in relation to co-creation, argue
that over the past few years it has become clear that value emerges from co-creation and is
delivered through holistic, significant experiences in nested and overlapping ecosystems of
services. In connection to that, Chandler & Lusch (2015) take the view that companies
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themselves cannot maintain experiences on their own, but must engage others, including
customers, to be able to deliver the value. Even McColl-Kennedy et al. (2015b) state that
individuals engage in value-creating experiences through activities such as searching and
selection, evaluation, valuation, classification, communication, and entertainment. The
increasing notion of so-called interaction value in the experience that goes beyond the
boundaries between the service provider and its customer and brings other influential factors to
that ecosystem, for example, other customers or other service providers.
Gretzel et al. (2015) more specifically find in their research that the phenomenon of smart
tourist ecosystems is primarily focused on the creation and consumption of value accumulated
in significant tourist experiences. Similarly based on knowledge from tourism industry,
Sørensen & Jensen (2015) propose a change from the current view of customer encounters
within the service to experience encounters which would help to overcome the barriers that
burden current view and will bring new potential for knowledge development, innovation and
value creation in the industry. According to the authors, this change will bring the integration
of employees and encounters with customers into more extensive tourist experience, which will
then lead to improved value creation, as this approach will help companies go beyond the
delivery of functionally oriented services to the co-creation of emotional value. All this will
then lead to the value creation both for the customer and for the company itself. An empirical
study conducted by Antón et al. (2018) reveals that variety of activities, in the tourism industry,
improves the customer perceived value, but when the whole experience creation process takes
too long, the value starts to decrease. They also state that higher value from experience
positively influences return and recommendation intentions.
Lee et al. (2015) focus on the area of product-service systems, where manufacturers are adding
services to the offer of products for differentiation. They point out that such an offer, from its
heterogeneous nature, must be focused on the value for the customer and on the delivery of the
value over the entire customer experience cycle instead of specific attributes and functions. The
more value will be delivered this way, the more likely customers will prefer product-service
offers. At a general level, they explicitly mention that customer experience and value perceived
by the customer are interrelated and that their mutual analytical research led to the benefits in
the direction of understanding customer preferences and supply adjustment.
Marbach et al. (2016) identify, across interviews in their research on online customer
engagement, altruism as one of the features of customer engagement and the sharing of own
customer experience with other customers as one manifestation of this altruism. They then
evaluate customer engagement as the predecessor to the creation of customer perceived value.
Moreover, Russell-Bennett et al. (2017) state that increased loyalty of medical donors can be
achieved through improved customer experience that leverages more types of value, such as
altruistic, social and functional.
On the example of a luxury fashion brand, Choi et al. (2016) verified that customer experience
at interaction points between the company and the customer contributed to the customer’s
perceived value that was further transformed into the brand value. Similarly, the value of the
brand was influenced by value creation between customers and the company. They also
confirmed that value based on customer experience has an impact on brand loyalty. Based on
another fashion industry research, Varshneya & Das (2017) recommend companies to identify
and invest in value creation opportunities, for example, the design of the experience, to increase
purchase intention. In relation to this recommendation, Pandey & Mookerjee (2017) and
Zolkiewski et al. (2017) verified connections between customer experience, value and purchase
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intention in the B2B market. Dacko (2017) then identifies increased value from retail settings
when the shopping experience is enriched by the mobile augmented reality shopping apps. The
phenomenon of bringing digital, physical and social realms together was also examined by
Bolton et al. (2018) and they state that experience can be improved this way, but that companies
will face difficult trade-offs between the efficiency and effectiveness of digital technologies if
they would focus on value proposition during interactions with customers.
Wang et al. (2018) discovered that higher customer experience levels (time between purchase
and online review and intensity of usage) are associated with a decrease in customer satisfaction
and that both price and popularity have important effects on the relationship between customer
experience and satisfaction, because, for example, quality and price are highly correlated.
Discussion
If we adopt customer experience and value creation perspective and use experiential dimensions
lens, we can identify several experience improvements that led to the improved creation and
also the perception of the value in the evolution of city transportation offering. Experience with
public transport is negatively impacted by two dimensions environment and other customers
(Table 1). Offering the private car with the private driver eliminated the whole dimension of
other customers which also increased the speed of transport and significantly improved quality
of the environment by securing privacy, improving comfort and brought customization and
personalization through free choice of drop-off locations. Uber then added the simple way to
choose the pick-up location and improved payment experience by providing pricing data in
advance through its smartphone application and then by completely eliminating payment
process, positively impacting dimension of the service and the customer, especially his feelings
and emotions, in particular.
These experiential improvements and their results suit the definition of value creators and match
value creation processes. The taxi brought simplicity to traveling through the pick-up and drop-
off flexibility and Uber extended that through the usage of user-friendly smartphone application
supported by GPS data, maps and also simplified whole payment process (Miller et al., 2002).
Uber also solved inconvenience of having enough cash for cash payments and brought peace
of mind with feeling of getting more than was the investment by automatic non-interaction
cash-less payments and refunds (Brax & Jonsson 2009; Chandler & Lusch 2015; McColl-
Kennedy et al. 2015b; Sørensen & Jensen 2015; Strandvik et al. 2012; Woodruff 1997). With
introduction of driver rating, Uber used the sharing of experiences as the form of co-creation of
the value and supported customer engagement to increase customer perceived value and also
collected data for ensuring better future experience in the area, where experience and value
creation is partly out of its control, because of the nature of ride-sharing platform (Marbach et
al. 2016).
Conclusion
Based on the analysis of research papers, customer experience, and value creation share much
in common. Both areas are closely linked through the placement of the customer to the center
of company’s interest and their close mutual influence (Antón et al. 2018; Bolton et al. 2018;
Chandler a Lusch 2015; Dacko 2017; Jaakkola et al. 2015; Lee et al. 2015; Marbach et al. 2016;
Pandey & Mookerjee 2017; Russell-Bennett et al. 2017; Vargo & Lusch 2016; Varshneya &
Das 2017; Wang et al. 2018; Zolkiewski et al. 2017). This customer is intently analyzed to
reveal his expectations and effective ways of their exceeding, therefore how to provide him
greater added value compared to the standard provided by competitors. In the context of
customer experience, complete customer experience journeys (sequences of interaction points
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between company and customer), during which value is being created and delivered to the
customer, are mapped, data for customer expectations are obtained, the whole customer life-
cycle is optimized based on them, and even influence of future customer expectations happens
(Verhoef et al. 2009; Sørensen & Jensen 2015).
Both customer experience and value creation are now subjects to research in many industries
from the point of view of customer's involvement in their co-creation, whether it is targeted use
of the opportunities that today globally open and technology-driven world offers, or taking into
account ever-increasing influence of the customers and other influencers on the company's
outputs (Antón et al. 2018; Choi et al. 2016; Dacko 2017; Gretzel et al. 2015; Lee et al. 2015;
Pandey & Mookerjee 2017; Russell-Bennett et al. 2017; Sørensen & Jensen 2015; Zolkiewski
et al. 2017). Klaus (2014), Chandler & Lusch (2015) and Marbach et al. (2016) moreover found,
that companies that most effectively use customer experience are also the ones that engage their
customers in value creation through activities such as collection of customer feedback based on
dissatisfaction, collection of recommendations and bidirectional communication on social
networks.
Both concepts are focused on the creation of long-lasting relationships between the customer
and the brand and through their management an increase in delivered value, customer
satisfaction, loyalty, and retention can be achieved (Choi et al. 2016; Russell-Bennett et al.
2017). They both support differentiation, brand value increase and contribute to a competitive
advantage on a global market that is open, where everyone has access to everything, all
resources and customers all over the world, on the market where boundaries between product
and service are blurred and on the market where customers have access to a plethora of
substitutes they can choose from (Choi et al. 2016; Meyer & Schwager 2007).
The research of primary data supports theoretical findings on customer experience and value
creation in the area of Czech city transportation and reveals positive and close interconnections
between those areas. Moreover, points out that well-managed customer experience within value
creation processes can even, through customer’s memories, influence future perceptions of such
straightforward empirical data as is price and can lead as far as to improved brand perception.
And the opposite applies too. It can also be claimed that customer experience offers new and
immense competitive battlefield and is the main differentiating factor that also significantly
supports value creation processes resulting in achievement of the competitive advantage. In the
area of public transportation, each new transportation service brought experiential changes,
through which addressed negative experiential factors of the existing transportation option and
beyond that brought other experiential improvements related to all customer experience
dimensions. Most notable improvements relate to the personalization, customization, speed,
building trust, simplification of the processes, modern technology integration and seamlessness
and balancedness of whole customer experience. Therefore, companies should focus on
customer experience management as well as on mentioned and other innovative aspects and
improvements of customer experience for potential differentiation, company-customer bond
strengthening and gain of competitive advantage.
To address scope limitations of the primary research and to deeply support theoretical findings,
the further research in other B2C areas, with larger number of respondents and countries
involved should be conducted. To increase reliability in the environment of Czech Republic,
future research should consider other data collection methods to reach the wider range of
respondents in order to reflect the age distribution of population as this research covered mainly
generations Y and Z (84% respondents were of age 1834 years). The empirical evaluation of
2019 Volume XIX(2): 28-41
Acta academica karviniensia DOI: 10.25142/aak.2019.012
38
the influence of customer experience and value perception on marketing metrics identified in
the literature, such as customer satisfaction, customer retention or customer loyalty, in the area
of city transportation should be considered as another avenue for future research.
Acknowledgement
This research is part of the project Marketing approaches to increase customer perceived value
led by Ing. David Havíř (FP-J-18-4874).
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to critique the adequacy of efforts to capture the complexities of customer experience in a business-to-business (B2B) context using input–output measures. The paper introduces a strategic customer experience management framework to capture the complexity of B2B service interactions and discusses the value of outcomes-based measurement. Design/methodology/approach This is a theoretical paper that reviews extant literature related to B2B customer experience and asks fresh questions regarding B2B customer experience at a more strategic network level. Findings The paper offers a reconceptualisation of B2B customer experience, proposes a strategic customer experience management framework and outlines a future research agenda. Research limitations/implications This paper is conceptual and seeks to raise questions surrounding the under-examined area of B2B customer experience. As a consequence, it has inevitable limitations resulting from the lack of empirical evidence to support the reconceptualisation. Practical implications Existing measures of customer experience are problematic when applied in a B2B (services) context. Rather than adopting input- and output-based measures, widely used in a business-to-consumer (B2C) context, a B2B context requires a more strategic approach to capturing and managing customer experience. Focussing on strategically important issues should generate opportunities for value co-creation and are more likely to involve outcomes-based measures. Social implications Improving the understanding of customer experience in a B2B context should allow organisations to design better services and consequently enhance the experiences of their employees, their customers and other connected actors. Originality/value This paper critiques the current approach to measuring customer experience in a B2B context, drawing on contemporary ideas of value-in-use, outcomes-based measures and “Big Data” to offer potential solutions to the measurement problems identified.
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