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Web vs phone based service experiences : Effects of emotions on customer satisfaction across sectors

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Author: Simons, L.P.A. · Reuver, M. de · Langley, D.J. · Attema-van Waas, A.R. · Hoeve, M.C. · Hulsbergen, F. · Koning, N.M. de
Publisher: Bled eCommerce Conference
Institution: TNO Informatie- en Communicatietechnologie
Source:24th Bled eConference - eFuture: Creating Solutions for the Individual, Organisations and Society, 12 June 2011 through 15 June 2011, 114-127
Identifier: 534068
Article number: 52
Keywords: Customer satisfaction · Emotions · Loyalty · Mediating effects · Multi-channel · Service experience · Telephone · Web · Behavioral research · Sales · Social networking (online) · Telecommunication services · Telephone · Telephone sets · Websites · Emotions · Loyalty · Mediating effect · Multi channel · Service experience · Web · Customer satisfaction · Organisation · SBA - Strategic Business Analysis · EELS - Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences


Empirical studies show that emotions mediate the impact of perceived service quality on customer satisfaction. In this paper, we explore how the mediating effect of emotions differs between web and telephone encounters. In addition, we explore if this mediating effect differs across three service industries that rely heavily on telephone and web customer care: telecommunications, energy and banking. We use SEM to analyze a large-scale consumer survey (N = 2872) in telecommunication, energy and banking sectors. Emotions partially mediate the effect on customer satisfaction, both for telephone-based (25% mediation) and web-based service encounters (21%). When distinguishing positive and negative emotions, the mediating effect of negative emotions is much stronger. While mediation takes place in all three sectors, negative emotions in phone-based service encounters are more important in telecommunications, while negative emotions in web-based encounters are more important in banking industry. We advise firms to use explicit emotion evoking strategies for positive service experiences and emotion reducing strategies for negative ones.