Recommendations as personalized marketing: insights from customer experiences

Recommendations as personalized marketing: insights from customer experiences Purpose – The purpose of this paper is an exploratory study of customers’ “lived” experiences of commercial recommendation services to better understand customer expectations for personalization with recommendation agents. Recommendation agents programmed to “learn” customer preferences and make personalized recommendations of products and services are considered a useful tool for targeting customers individually. Some leading service firms have developed proprietary recommender systems in the hope that personalized recommendations could engage customers, increase satisfaction and sharpen their competitive edge. However, personalized recommendations do not always deliver customer satisfaction. More often, they lead to dissatisfaction, annoyance or irritation. Design/methodology/approach – The critical incident technique is used to analyze customer satisfactory or dissatisfactory incidents collected from online group discussion participants and bloggers to develop a classification scheme. Findings – A classification scheme with 15 categories is developed, each illustrated with satisfactory incidents and dissatisfactory incidents, defined in terms of an underlying customer expectation, typical instances of satisfaction and dissatisfaction and, when possible, conditions under which customers are likely to have such an expectation. Three pairs of themes emerged from the classification scheme. Six tentative research propositions were introduced. Research limitations/implications – Findings from this exploratory research should be regarded as preliminary. Besides, content validity of the categories and generalizability of the findings should be subject to future research. Practical implications – Research findings have implications for identifying priorities in developing algorithms and for managing personalization more strategically. Originality/value – This research explores response to personalization from a customer’s perspective. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Services Marketing Emerald Publishing

Recommendations as personalized marketing: insights from customer experiences

Journal of Services Marketing, Volume 28 (5): 14 – Aug 5, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0887-6045
D.O.I.
10.1108/JSM-04-2013-0083
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is an exploratory study of customers’ “lived” experiences of commercial recommendation services to better understand customer expectations for personalization with recommendation agents. Recommendation agents programmed to “learn” customer preferences and make personalized recommendations of products and services are considered a useful tool for targeting customers individually. Some leading service firms have developed proprietary recommender systems in the hope that personalized recommendations could engage customers, increase satisfaction and sharpen their competitive edge. However, personalized recommendations do not always deliver customer satisfaction. More often, they lead to dissatisfaction, annoyance or irritation. Design/methodology/approach – The critical incident technique is used to analyze customer satisfactory or dissatisfactory incidents collected from online group discussion participants and bloggers to develop a classification scheme. Findings – A classification scheme with 15 categories is developed, each illustrated with satisfactory incidents and dissatisfactory incidents, defined in terms of an underlying customer expectation, typical instances of satisfaction and dissatisfaction and, when possible, conditions under which customers are likely to have such an expectation. Three pairs of themes emerged from the classification scheme. Six tentative research propositions were introduced. Research limitations/implications – Findings from this exploratory research should be regarded as preliminary. Besides, content validity of the categories and generalizability of the findings should be subject to future research. Practical implications – Research findings have implications for identifying priorities in developing algorithms and for managing personalization more strategically. Originality/value – This research explores response to personalization from a customer’s perspective.

Journal

Journal of Services MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 5, 2014

Keywords: Customer satisfaction; Personalization; Critical incidents; Consumer preference; Recommendation agent

References

  • Service personalization and loyalty
    Ball, D.; Coelho, P.S.; Vilares, M.J.
  • Customization of the service experience: the role of the frontline employee
    Bettencourt, LA.; Gwinner, K.
  • Using a community of knowledge to build intelligent agents
    Gershoff, A.D.; West, P.M.
  • A typology of retail failures and recoveries
    Kelley, S.W.; Hoffman, D.K.; Davis, M.A.
  • Is personalization of services always a good thing? Exploring the role of technology‐mediated personalization (TMP) in service relationships
    Shen, A.; Ball, A.D.
  • Agents to the rescue?
    West, P.M.; Ariely, D.; Bellman, S.; Bradlow, E.; Huber, J.; Johnson, E.; Kahn, K.; Little, J.; Schkade, D.

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