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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Customer satisfaction is caused by different predictors when services are delivered by technology instead of employees

Published: May 25, 2021


Pengen Mai, University of Warwick; Steven Day, University of Warwick


Self-service technologies (SST) are widely used. However, to what extent service quality and recovery, crucial for customer satisfaction of traditional services (TS), also determine customer satisfaction of SST and subsequently customer loyalty and repurchase intention is unclear. This research quantitatively investigates this issue by testing a hypothesized model using two sets of questionnaire data (n=385) from the fast-food context that use both employees and technology to deliver ordering services. Findings show that while the impact of service reliability and recovery on customer satisfaction is not significantly different, service usability and efficiency have a greater impact on customers using SST than TS. Similarly, the relationship between satisfaction and subsequent loyalty and repurchase intention is stronger for TS. This suggests that replacing TS with SST reduces customer expectations to a barebone sufficiency level . The value of this research lies in the direct like-for-like comparison between SST and TS, with results suggesting that the same service is reframed in the consumer’s mind by the use of technology instead of employees.