DESIGNING SATISFYING SERVICE ENCOUNTERS: WEBSITE VERSUS STORE TOUCHPOINTS
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This study investigated how touchpoints moderate the antecedents of customer satisfaction with service encounters by comparing online and in-store encounters. Construal level theory was used within the Touchpoint, Context, Qualities (TCQ) Framework (De Keyser et al., 2020) to integrate a comprehensive model of how touchpoints—websites or stores—influence the magnitude of customer responses to qualities of service encounters. A hierarchical linear model (HLM) was estimated using survey data describing the service encounters of 2.4 million customers with a global retailer. Online customers weighed cognitive and behavioral qualities more heavily than in-store customers, whereas they weighed emotional and sensorial qualities less heavily. Moreover, random effects in the HLM model indicated that each country and store would have unique clientele effects for specific qualities. Since each firm has limited resources, this research offers guidance on key qualities in designing satisfying service encounters for each touchpoint and how qualities should be standardized and customized in global omnichannel environments.