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A critical incident technique investigation of customers’ waiting experiences in service encounters

A critical incident technique investigation of customers’ waiting experiences in service encounters Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to explore customers’ reactions to waiting experiences in service encounters. It seeks to explore the key driving features determining customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction with waiting experiences during service encounters. The main challenge for service organisation is to understand the satisfactory and dissatisfactory features of the waiting experiences so as to design and deliver a memorable experience leading to positive post-consumption reactions. Design/methodology/approach– The critical incident technique (CIT) was used to explore the salient factors on which customers forged their evaluation and based their satisfaction while waiting in lines in the context of various service encounters. To elicit incidents, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 customers in Mauritius and a total of 297 critical incidents involving customers’ waiting experiences in service encounters were identified. Findings– Based on the CIT analysis, four distinctive features associated with the satisfying and dissatisfying waiting experiences emerged: social justice, servicescapes, affective response and service outcome. The customers exhibited mostly dissatisfying reactions to waiting experiences during the service encounters. Originality/value– While CIT has been used extensively in services management, it has not been used to explore customers’ reactions to waiting experiences. Therefore, this study extended the waiting experience literature in service encounters to explain customers’ reactions to waiting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Service Theory and Practice Emerald Publishing

A critical incident technique investigation of customers’ waiting experiences in service encounters

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2055-6225
DOI
10.1108/JSTP-12-2014-0284
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to explore customers’ reactions to waiting experiences in service encounters. It seeks to explore the key driving features determining customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction with waiting experiences during service encounters. The main challenge for service organisation is to understand the satisfactory and dissatisfactory features of the waiting experiences so as to design and deliver a memorable experience leading to positive post-consumption reactions. Design/methodology/approach– The critical incident technique (CIT) was used to explore the salient factors on which customers forged their evaluation and based their satisfaction while waiting in lines in the context of various service encounters. To elicit incidents, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 customers in Mauritius and a total of 297 critical incidents involving customers’ waiting experiences in service encounters were identified. Findings– Based on the CIT analysis, four distinctive features associated with the satisfying and dissatisfying waiting experiences emerged: social justice, servicescapes, affective response and service outcome. The customers exhibited mostly dissatisfying reactions to waiting experiences during the service encounters. Originality/value– While CIT has been used extensively in services management, it has not been used to explore customers’ reactions to waiting experiences. Therefore, this study extended the waiting experience literature in service encounters to explain customers’ reactions to waiting.

Journal

Journal of Service Theory and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: May 9, 2016

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