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Customer transformation in services: conceptualization and research agenda

Customer transformation in services: conceptualization and research agenda Customer transformation is currently overlooked in service research. This article aims to conceptualize customer transformation and develop a research agenda to encourage more exploration in this area.Design/methodology/approachThis conceptual article builds on the literature on transformation and related topics in psychology, sociology, education and anthropology.FindingsThe presented definition of customer transformation distinguishes itself from other related concepts such as minor change. The research agenda, structured around five themes, reveals four distinctive attributes of customer transformation that warrant academic investigation. These include the inability of businesses to guarantee transformations, the potential tension between transformational aspirations and immediate needs and well-being, the imperative of cultivating long-term engagement and the likelihood of encountering customer resistance. This highlights the criticality of embracing a customer-centric approach in transformational services.Research limitations/implicationsGiven the vastness of the topic, the literature review is limited and the research agenda could be widened. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the subject introduces the possibility that the conceptual framework and research agenda may become outdated. Lastly, the universal applicability of the findings and the proposed conceptual framework are uncertain, necessitating potential validation across diverse contexts. The practical implications may also fall short of addressing the specific challenges encountered by different industries or businesses.Practical implicationsThe article provides insights on customer transformation and strategies for businesses to support ongoing transformations, emphasizing personalized engagement and co-creating value to meet evolving customer aspirations.Social implicationsThe need for development and growth is more pressing and decisive than ever. This need is often not well understood and, as a result, is not addressed by either scholars or companies. This paper helps address that social need.Originality/valueThe research enriches the service literature by paving the way for a crucial subfield in service research. Additionally, it establishes a shared understanding of customer transformation by highlighting its distinct characteristics and analyzing their implications for service management, proposing a conceptual framework and research agenda. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Service Theory and Practice Emerald Publishing

Customer transformation in services: conceptualization and research agenda

Journal of Service Theory and Practice , Volume 34 (3): 12 – May 15, 2024

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References (41)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2055-6225
DOI
10.1108/jstp-01-2023-0012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Customer transformation is currently overlooked in service research. This article aims to conceptualize customer transformation and develop a research agenda to encourage more exploration in this area.Design/methodology/approachThis conceptual article builds on the literature on transformation and related topics in psychology, sociology, education and anthropology.FindingsThe presented definition of customer transformation distinguishes itself from other related concepts such as minor change. The research agenda, structured around five themes, reveals four distinctive attributes of customer transformation that warrant academic investigation. These include the inability of businesses to guarantee transformations, the potential tension between transformational aspirations and immediate needs and well-being, the imperative of cultivating long-term engagement and the likelihood of encountering customer resistance. This highlights the criticality of embracing a customer-centric approach in transformational services.Research limitations/implicationsGiven the vastness of the topic, the literature review is limited and the research agenda could be widened. Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the subject introduces the possibility that the conceptual framework and research agenda may become outdated. Lastly, the universal applicability of the findings and the proposed conceptual framework are uncertain, necessitating potential validation across diverse contexts. The practical implications may also fall short of addressing the specific challenges encountered by different industries or businesses.Practical implicationsThe article provides insights on customer transformation and strategies for businesses to support ongoing transformations, emphasizing personalized engagement and co-creating value to meet evolving customer aspirations.Social implicationsThe need for development and growth is more pressing and decisive than ever. This need is often not well understood and, as a result, is not addressed by either scholars or companies. This paper helps address that social need.Originality/valueThe research enriches the service literature by paving the way for a crucial subfield in service research. Additionally, it establishes a shared understanding of customer transformation by highlighting its distinct characteristics and analyzing their implications for service management, proposing a conceptual framework and research agenda.

Journal

Journal of Service Theory and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: May 15, 2024

Keywords: Customer transformation; Developmental psychology; Customer experience; Customer-dominant logic; Customer value

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