New study on how brands affect customer experiences in service encounters2021-06-24
We often hear about the importance of a strong brand. But how does a brand really affect the customer's experience of a service? Results in a new study show how customers’ experiences in service encounters are affected differently by the characteristics of a brand, store and consumer factors. By understanding the complex interplay between these factors, companies and retailers can design unique customer experiences.
This study investigates how brands influence customer experiences, and how retailers can leverage their brand to shape customers’ satisfaction with service encounters.
"Our study is unique as it connects brand, store and consumer factors, so that the interplay between different strategic measures becomes clear. Changes in brands, stores and marketing channels have effects on how customers experience their interactions with the company. By understanding the interplay between these factors retailers can gain a better understanding, and based on this design new and better service encounters, says Lars Witell, professor of business administration.
Results from the study show that customers who believe the retailer has high quality brand place less weight on in-store experiences clues. Customers who believe the retailer´s service brand promise, for example a slogan, place more weight on in-store clues. The introduction of a digital channel, for example an opportunity to shop online, affects how customers evaluate in-store experiences.
The study is based on the experiences of more than 2 million customers in different countries and stores.
"Thanks to the collaboration with our partners at CTF, we have co-created new insights on how customer experiences are created in service encounters. The opportunity to study such a large number of customer experiences makes it possible to study the brand, store and customer simultaneously, which means that complex connections can be identified in a way that normally is not possible," Lars Witell concludes.
The article "Managing A Global Retail Brand in Different Markets: Meta-Analyses of Customer Responses to Service Encounters” is published in the Journal of Retailing and is written together with researchers Ruth Bolton, Anders Gustafsson and Crina Tarasi.