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EMAC 2022 Annual

Combining Human and Digital in Online Customer Support: the Role of Regulatory Focus

Published: May 24, 2022


Aleksandra Petelina-Walsh, University of Reading, Henley Business School


Research has acknowledged that digital technologies have significantly changed the way consumers interact with organisations. Yet, there has been little agreement on how to deliver valuable interactions using both digital technology and service employees. Question arises how organisations can positively influence online behaviours using both digital and human. Grounded in regulatory focus theory, this research aims to establish how chronic regulatory focus impact on consumers preferences interacting with digital and human in online customer support environment. Adopting a quasi-experiment research design, this study has found out that depending on chronic regulatory focus, consumers would express more positive online behaviour towards a firm when exposed to different levels of control during their interactions with live-chat agents.