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EMAC 2023 Annual

Customer Education in the Digital Age: Intended and Unintended Effects

Published: May 24, 2023


Benjamin von Walter, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences; Bruno Jäger, OST - Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences; Christian Heumann, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences; Dietmar Kremmel, FHS St.Gallen University of Applied Sciences


Many companies implement customer education to improve their customers’ abilities to interact with digital service technologies. In this research, we investigate how customers respond to different forms of customer education. A study of customer data of a financial service provider and an experiment show that customer education has a positive effect on acceptance of service technologies. However, we also demonstrate that customers may not always respond positively to customer education. Whereas customers who receive education adaptive to their individual abilities react favorably, customers who receive non-adaptive education feel negatively about the service technology that has been the subject of customer education. In sum, these findings emphasize the potential of customer education to increase technology acceptance and point to the importance of making customer education more adaptive.