Diagnosing Service Success and Failure Incidents in the Consumer-to-Business Sharing Economy: A Case of Logistics Sharing

Diagnosing Service Success and Failure Incidents in the Consumer-to-Business Sharing Economy: A Case of Logistics Sharing

Shiu-Li Huang, Ya-Jung Lee
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.20220301.oa4
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This study uses the critical incident technique to collect and analyze incidents of service failure and success involving a logistics sharing service in which the service providers are individuals. The authors also explore the key factors that affect customer satisfaction, along with the official and ideal recovery strategies. Data is based on interviews with 35 business users in Taiwan in 2017. A card sorting exercise is employed to classify the collected incidents and strategies into categories. The results show that the determinants of success and failure in logistics sharing services include drivers, platform operation, the matching system, and communication. Compensation is the most effective recovery strategy, whereas doing nothing is the least effective. Suggestions based on our results can help managers of the sharing economy to avoid or recover from failures and attain success.
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The sharing economy is an economic system in which underutilized assets are shared between individuals or groups by means of the Internet (Huang and Kuo, 2020). The consumer-to-business (C2B) sharing economy involves companies paying for assets or knowledge provided by individuals via the sharing process. The C2B sharing economy has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly shared logistics, including on-demand logistics such as Lalamove and GoGoVan, and online food delivery services like Uber Eats and Foodpanda (Deloitte, 2019). People join the platform as drivers to provide services and help companies deliver goods. Since the service provider is a person who is neither hired, trained nor evaluated by the company, the risk of unstable service quality is high (Hong et al., 2019). However, the literature lacks relevant research regarding the factors affecting the success or failure of services provided via this C2B sharing economy model. This study aims to bridge this knowledge gap.

Prior studies have found that for sharing-economy services, service quality is a determinant of customer satisfaction and loyalty (Möhlmann, 2015; Cheng et al., 2018). A service encounter is a dyadic interaction between a customer and service provider. The interaction determines the customer’s perception of the quality of the service and, thus, the level of satisfaction. Effective management of the service encounter involves understanding both favorable and unfavorable incidents from the customers' point of view (Bitner et al., 1990). Therefore, the present study aims to discover favorable and unfavorable service encounters in the sharing economy, and for the C2B model in particular.

This study uses a shared logistics company in Taiwan as a study case. Since we have little understanding of factors affecting the success or failure of C2B sharing economy, this study addresses the following research questions: (1) What are the types of service failure and success incidents commonly experienced in shared logistics? (2) What are the key factors that affect customer satisfaction with shared logistics? In addition, the possibility of service failure increases when the service providers become persons who are not full-time employees. An effective recovery strategy is important to the maintenance or restoration of customer satisfaction following a service failure. In order to understand how to recover from service failures, this study also addresses the question: (3) What are the official and ideal recovery strategies, and to what extent do those strategies effectively reestablish satisfaction among business users after a service failure?

The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. The next section reviews relevant literature. The research methodology and study case are described in the third section. Data analysis results are described and discussed in the fourth and fifth sections. The paper concludes with the theoretical and practical implications.

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