The Role of Digital Service Encounters on Customers' Perceptions of Companies

The Role of Digital Service Encounters on Customers' Perceptions of Companies

Kristina. Heinonen (Hanken Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/jeco.2008040101
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Abstract

The service encounter occurs whenever a customer interacts with a company personally or through technology through, for example, the Internet, e-mail, or telephone. Nowadays, customers frequently initiate the encounter as, for example, inquiries, information searches, and complaints are conveniently performed online. This article explores the role of digital service encounters on customer perceptions of companies. Digital service encounters in this article denote remote customer-company interactions via the Internet or e-mail. The focus is on active customers initiating interactions and on customer perceptions of company responses to these interactions. A conceptual framework that captures customer perceived service encounter value on two dimensions (responsiveness and personalization) is proposed. An empirical study exploring the value of company responses to digital contacts indicated that many contacts are responded to promptly and satisfyingly. However, there are also significant differences in the value of the service encounter. Some service encounters are perceived as unpersonalized, and some are even left without response.

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