PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to revisit prevailing notions of service quality by developing and testing a model of service quality for experience-centric services.Design/methodology/approachBy problematizing the service quality literature, a model is developed to capture impacts of outcome-achievement, instrumental performance and expressive performance on customer loyalty. A multi-group structural equation model is tested to establish the moderating effect of perceived service character – utilitarian or hedonic.FindingsOutcome-achievement mediates the direct relationships between instrumental and expressive performance, respectively, and loyalty; the strength of these relationships is moderated by perceived service character.Research limitations/implicationsEmotional design to improve the experience is effective provided the expected outcome is achieved. However, for services that customers perceive as experience-centric, the outcome may be somewhat ambiguously defined and expressive performance is valued more highly than instrumental performance.Practical implicationsUnderstanding customers’ perception of a service – whether customers seek value related to outcomes or emotions – is crucial when selecting appropriate measures of service quality and performance. Creating a good experience is generally beneficial, but it must be designed according to the character of the service in question.Originality/valueThe research presents empirical evidence on how service experience contributes to customer loyalty by testing a model of service quality that is suited to experience-centric services. Furthermore, it identifies the importance of understanding service character when designing and managing services.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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