How participation in in-home service provision impacts communication channel consideration

M.J.H. van Birgelen*, B.G.C. Dellaert, J.C. de Ruyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose – this paper aims to examine communication channels for in-home service provision. In particular, it aims to focus on the joint effect of two converging trends: the increase of in-home services involving high degrees of customer participation;and the extension of the number of channels that service firms use to communicate with customers. It seeks to assess which benefits customers desire of communication channels across in-home service production formats and how these benefit desires determine their communication channel consideration for in-home – based on a literature review a conceptual framework was constructed. Using the association pattern technique (apt), a survey of 383 customers of a dutch energy company was carried out. The apt enabled the authors to quantify the relationship between participative in-home service provision situations, desired communication channel benefits, and communication channel consideration.findings – results show that customers focus more strongly on functionally- and economically-oriented communication channel benefits in high customer participation service formats. In contrast, socially-oriented communication channel benefits seem more appropriate when low customer participation in the provision of in-home services is involved. The match between benefits desired by the customer and benefits provided by a communication channel is identified as a central mechanism behind communication channel consideration for in-home services. Furthermore, evidence is found for customer heterogeneity in desired communication channel benefits and channel consideration, based on age, education, and past channel usage.originality/value – this paper contributes to the multichannel knowledge base by hypothesizing and demonstrating how specific benefit desires arise from allowing/requiring customers to participate in in-home service provision. The study also provides valuable insight into the mechanism behind communication channel consideration by customers during in-home service provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-252
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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