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Making SENSE of Customer Service Experiences: A Text Mining Review

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Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to systematically review the concepts and theories underlying customer service experience (CSE) and its underlying five dimensions (physical, social, cognitive, affective and sensorial). In this research, the contribution of the sensorial dimension to CSE research is emphasized. Senses are especially important in forming perceptions within servicescapes that are typically rich in sensory stimuli.

Design/methodology/approach - This study systematically identifies 258 articles published between 1994 and 2018 in services and marketing journals. The analysis uses a text mining approach with the Leximancer software to extract research concepts and their relationships.

Findings - The results demonstrate a shift from CSE research focused on brands and products toward value and interaction, around three focal areas: service system architecture, with its value creation processes; servicescape, with an increasingly digital interaction interface and outcome measures, with a stronger focus on emotional and relational metrics. In CSE research, the physical, social and cognitive dimensions are mostly researched in the focal areas of servicescape and outcome measures. Although important in practice, the sensorial dimension is the least investigated CSE dimension in service marketing research. Text mining insights demonstrate rich opportunities for sensorial research, particularly in studies on servicescape.

Practical implications - The synthesis will inform managers and service providers which elements of CSE are most relevant to customers when forming perceptions. These insights help service providers to control, manage and design (multi)-sensory stimuli that influence how customers will make sense of the servicescape.

Originality/value - This research is one of the first studies to examine the conceptual structure of CSE with a text mining approach that systematically analyzes a large set of articles, therein reducing the potential for researchers' interpretative bias. The paper provides an assessment of the role of the largely neglected but crucial sensorial dimension, and offers future research suggestions into this emerging topic.

    Research areas

  • customer experience, multisensory, sensory, leximancer, text mining, review, servicescape, service research, Servicescape, DESIGN, BRAND-EXPERIENCE, INNOVATION, Customer experience, Review, Leximancer, PROPOSITIONS, CONCEPTUALIZATION, Sensory, Multisensory, Text mining, MUSIC, Service research, DOMINANT LOGIC, EVOLUTION, VALUE CREATION, CONSUMPTION
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-103
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019