Changing the servicescape2016-12-13
In a new doctoral thesis from CTF, Pernille K Andersson is investigating how the servicescape is changed by the influence of music, self-disclosure, and eye gaze on service encounter experience and approach avoidance behavior.
- Our feelings and behavior are continuously affected by our surroundings. Stores have servicescapes which have a big influence on customer’s experiences and purchase decisions, says Pernille K Andersson.
The purpose of the thesis is to investigate and understand the effect of a servicescape’s ambient and social conditions on consumers’ service encounter experience and their approach/avoidance behavior in a retail context.
In three papers Pernille K Andersson investigates the effect of music, employees’ self-disclosure and employees’ gazing behavior on consumers’ service encounter experience and approach/avoidance behavior in a retail store.
Music makes customers shop more
Through various experiments Pernille K Andersson have studied how customers are affected by music in the store. What happens when the music is played compared to when it is quiet in the store.
- The result of the music study is complex. It shows that music has a positive effect on customer’s purchasing behavior, when music was played the customers shopped more. But they were less happy, interacted less with others and experienced the shopping event more negative compared to when it was quiet in the store. We also noticed differences between the sexes. Women were more exploratory in their behavior and felt more active when it was quiet in the store, compared to men who felt more active and explorative while the music was playing, says Pernille K Andersson.
Impersonal staff in the store is preferred
It is becoming increasingly common for staff in stores, at the bank or at the hotel to interact with customers in ways that usually occur between friends. The question is what do the customers think about it?
- A general sales tip is to try to become friends with the customer in order to influence a purchase of goods or a service. However, my studies show that employees who provide personal information in effort to be friends with the customer is seen as less competent and credible, especially in the case of meetings between customers and employees who meet once or very seldom. The customers are not only dissatisfied with the employee, but also the company they represent, says Pernille K Andersson.
Eye contact is usually positive
Store- and service staff are often advised to always give attention to their customers, with a glance, a smile and a “welcome, can I help you”.
- In most cases eye contact is positive. People want to be seen and acknowledged, it makes us feel better and more comfortable. The results of my research show that staff who seek eye contact are perceived as more competent, honest and nicer. However, there are situations where customers do not want to be visible, for example, when purchasing an “embarrassing” product or visiting a service facility which you do not want to advertise. On these occasions, the customer does not want to be noticed and does not want to have eye contact, says Pernille K Andersson.