Service Provider Expectations and the Word of Mouth That Follows

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Final Senior Capstone project analyzing customer service expectations of service providers in the context of short term interactions. End goal was to see how violations or affirmations of expectations effect word of mouth communication.

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  • Performance that encourages cooperative social smoothness void of intense interaction with othersMore on SPSS will be discussed during my methods section as it was a direct influence for my measure.
  • WendyZabava Ford is another scholar who co-authored some of the studies on Sociality with Koermer. One in particular she states “ service interactions have become a significant part of our daily routines and the nature of these interactions may dramatically impact our overall quality of life”Findings:I think this is becoming more and more true everyday in every industry. This observation support the decision to focus the study on short-term quick non professional service provider – customer interactions.
  • Find out what people want and give it to them
  • Based on our theoretical background and what we know about sociality as it relates to word of mouth communication the following hypotheses are proposed.
  • Independent Samples T-Test: Note: Females also showed a difference in their likelihood to participate in Negative Word of Mouth when Behaviors were Neutral Expectations and Not Expectations. They are omitted because they were not in the “likely” range. Nonetheless the difference is still apparent
  • Apparent differences between those who had worked in customer service (Yes) and had not worked in customer service (No) however; none of them were statistically significant. All circumstances showed an apparent Mean Difference besides those where there were Not Behavior Expectations
  • Service Provider Expectations and the Word of Mouth That Follows

    1. 1. Service Provider Behavior and The Word Of Mouth That Follows<br />Erik Dittmann<br />Senior Capstone<br />Fall 2010<br />
    2. 2. Our Process<br />Think about how your study has progressed<br />What was the original concept?<br />How did it change?<br />Does the final product at all resemble your initial idea?<br />
    3. 3. Inspiration<br />Entrepreneurial mindset <br />Hotel Rogers<br />Customer Service/Business<br />How can I use communication theory to improve it?<br />The Initial Ah-Ha!<br />New York Times article <br />“100 Things Staff Should Never Do” by Bruce Buschel<br />
    4. 4. Literature Review<br />Studies of Customer – Service Provider interaction<br />Variety of Approaches and Contexts<br />Loyalty – Satisfaction – Word of Mouth<br />Professional and Non-Professional Service Providers<br />Sociality – Chas D. Koermer<br /> Performance that encourages cooperative social smoothness<br />4 Dimensions <br />Courtesies – polite greetings and friendly displays<br />Pleasantries – small talk about weather, news, or politics<br />Sociabilities – common disclosures: gossip and joking<br />Privacies – intimate revelations about oneself<br />Service Provider Sociality Scale (SPSS)<br />
    5. 5. Literature Review<br />Main Application: Professional Service Provider<br />Unfortunate as most interactions are non-professional<br />Store clerk, bank teller, barista <br />Findings<br />Courtesies are a stronger predictor for customer satisfaction<br />Koermer notes a paradigmatic shift where...<br />Personal Connection with a sole service provider <br /> are being replaced with... <br />Quick Courtesies from multiple service persons. <br />
    6. 6. Literature Review<br />Word of Mouth (WOM) – Hong and Yang<br />“Word of Mouth has more influence than any other communication” <br />Studied positive WOM intentions of consumers<br />Did not study negative WOM <br />Suggested Research<br />Studying Negative WOM and Positive WOM in conjunction to see differences<br />Accompany WOM with another variable besides satisfaction<br />
    7. 7. Development<br />Studies of Customer – Service Provider interaction<br />Variety of Approaches and Contexts<br />Loyalty – Satisfaction – Word of Mouth<br />Professional and Non-Professional Service Providers<br />Realization = Previous Studies are too complicated <br />Broad – Far Reaching – Lacked Focus<br />Not focusing on customer and their expectations<br />“You have to give the people what they want”<br />
    8. 8. The Study<br />Research Gap<br />Considerable amount is known about how customer’s expectations of service provider behavior influence Word of Mouth communication <br />Purpose<br />Illuminate how service provider behavior expectations influence Negative WOM when violated and Positive WOM when fulfilled<br />
    9. 9. Theoretical Background<br />Expectancy Violation Theory <br />Customers will react to behavior based on their expectations<br />Expectations will affect their WOM participation<br />Expectation violations will have a more distinct reaction<br />Attribution Theory<br />People make sense of an unusual event by assessing 3 factors:<br />Distinct – Is this behavior characteristically unique or different?<br />Consistent – Does this behavior happen on a regular basis?<br />Consensus – does the behavior “go along” with other behavior<br />
    10. 10. Hypotheses<br />H1 When an Expected behavior is not performed by a Service Provider the customer will be most likely to participate in Negative Word of Mouth<br />H2 When an Unexpected behavior is performed by a service provider and “liked” by the customer, the customer will be most likely to participate in Positive Word of Mouth<br />
    11. 11. Method<br />Participants – N = 107<br />Sex: Male: 28 Female: 78<br />Age: 18-27: 88 28-37: 6 38-47: 2 48-59: 9 70+: 2<br />Procedure<br />completed questionnaires on a voluntary basis during classes, social gatherings or at work during break.<br />Participants were informed that purpose of the study <br />
    12. 12. Measure~ mcse-womr ~<br />Adapted from Service Provider Sociality Scale (SPSS)<br />Developed by Koermer et al. (2000) <br />SPSS had 21 items<br />9 additional items were added. <br />developed from focus groups discussing positive and negative customer service interactions. <br />
    13. 13. Measure ~ mcse-womr ~<br />Measure of Customer Service Expectations and Word of Mouth Relationship (MCSE-WOMR) <br />3-part survey – 90 items total<br />Part I consists of 30 behaviors designed to determine which behaviors are expected<br />Part II uses negative hypothetical situational statements carried out by their service provider based on the 30 behaviors in Part I and gauged the likelihood of negative WOM communication <br />Part III uses positive hypothetical situational statements carried out by their service provider based on the 30 behaviors in Part I and gauged the likelihood of positive WOM communication <br />
    14. 14. Coding<br />Part 1 (Expectations) <br />YES was coded as (1) <br />NO was a (-1). <br />Part II and III<br /> Original data was entered using the 1 – 5 Likert Scale <br />Those values were re-coded for easy interpretation. As seen below:<br /> Highly Likely: (2)<br /> Likely: (1)<br /> Neutral: (0)<br /> Unlikely: (-1)<br /> Highly Unlikely: (-2)<br />
    15. 15. Analysis<br />Step 1:<br />The items in Part I (expectations) were divided into four categories (levels) of expectation. <br />Groups were created to categorize the level of expectation the specific service behavior carried. <br />Categorization determined by the individual behaviors composite mean. <br />
    16. 16. Analysis<br />Step 2:<br />Series of Paired T-Tests of:<br />Category Levels of NWOM and PWOM<br />Step 3:<br />Independent Sample T-Test of:<br /><ul><li>Sex differences in likelihood of NWOM and PWOM</li></ul>Step 4:<br />Independent Sample T-Test of:<br /><ul><li>Customer Service Experience in likelihood of NWOM and PWOM</li></li></ul><li>Results: Highly Expected Behaviors<br />
    17. 17. Results: H1<br />H1 When an Expected behavior is not performed by a Service Provider the customer will be most likely to participate in Negative Word of Mouth<br />The Paired T-Test confirmed this Hypothesis:<br />t(106) = 11.85, p ≤ .01<br />The composite means demonstrated a statistical significance in all pairs with a clear separation between each expectation level.<br />
    18. 18. Results: H2<br />H2 When an Unexpected behavior is performed by a service provider and “liked” by the customer, the customer will be most likely to participate in Positive Word of Mouth<br />The Paired T-Test did not support this Hypothesis:<br />There was a statistically significant result that unexpected and “liked” behaviors will result in positive word of mouth.<br />However, expected behaviors that are fulfilled yielded the greatest likelihood of positive word of mouth.<br />t(106) = 3.68, p ≤ .01<br />
    19. 19. Results: H2<br />Counter to prediction no difference or statistical significance found between Moderate and Neutral Expectations.<br />Mean for MEPWOM – Mean for NEUPWOM<br />t(106) = -.146, p ≥ .05<br />There was a difference between High Expectation and Neutral Expectation Behavior however it failed to reach statistical significance.<br />Mean for HEPWOM – Mean for NEUPWOM <br />t(106) = 1.02, p ≥ .05<br />
    20. 20. Results: Sex Differences<br />Males andfemales show differences but not statistically significant.<br />The circumstances with an apparent Mean Difference were as follows:<br />Females > Male in Negative Word of Mouth for High Expectations. <br />NWOM High Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .286<br />Females >Male in Positive Word of Mouth under all Expectations<br />PWOM High Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .207<br /> PWOM Moderate Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .221<br /> PWOM Neutral Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .181<br /> PWOM No Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .137<br />
    21. 21. Results: Customer Service Experience<br />CSE > No CSE under all except Non-Expected Behaviors<br /> Greatest difference was present for Neutral Behavior Expectations<br />NWOM High Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .114<br /> NWOM Moderate Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .205<br /> NWOM Neutral Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .275<br /> PWOM High Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .120<br /> PWOM Moderate Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .120<br /> PWOM Neutral Behavior Expectation: Mean Difference = .400<br />
    22. 22. Discussion<br />GOAL ACHIEVED!<br />Identified an applicable set of communication behaviors that prompt positive and negative word of mouth. <br />The results aim to benefit small business owners that wish to improve their customer service. <br />Not all findings were statistically significant, the differences are apparent and worthy of discussion. <br />
    23. 23. Discussion: H1<br />Hypothesis 1 Confirmed! <br />When an Expected behavior is not performed by a Service Provider the customer will be most likely to participate in Negative Word of Mouth<br />Implication<br /> It is clear that business owners should examine these service provider behaviors to ensure their employees are not violating these expectations. <br />
    24. 24. Discussion: H2<br />Hypothesis 2 Opposite! <br />When an Unexpected behavior is performed by a service provider and “liked” by the customer, the customer will be most likely to participate in Positive Word of Mouth<br />Instead...<br />When an Expected behavior is fulfilled by a Service Provider the customer will be most likely to participate in Positive Word of Mouth<br />Implication<br />Fulfilling Expectations is the best way to get PWOM. <br />However; going above and beyond will still result with a fairly high likelihood of PWOM<br />
    25. 25. Discussion<br />Sex Differences<br />Reason for Women’s greater WOM? <br />More open to friends<br />More sensitive to communication<br />Customer Service Experience<br />Overall Greater WOM<br />More apt to speak Positively because they understand the difficulty of the job<br />More apt to speak Negatively because they believe they would handle themselves as the service provider differently<br />Neutral Expectations greater WOM?<br />Customer Service Experience develops a more keen eye for smaller details with in a service interaction<br />
    26. 26. Limitations<br />Limitations<br />Sample Size<br />Did not allow for statistical significance in every case<br />Age Representation<br />82% were 18-27, 5.6% were 28- 37, 12.1% were over 38<br />
    27. 27. Strengths<br />Strengths<br />Focused Context<br />Short Term, Non-Professional Service Interactions<br />Several Variables to Analyze and Compare<br />Positive and Negative WOM<br />Demographics<br />Identified Several Avenues for Further Research<br />Professional Service Provider – Same Model<br />Customer Service Experience As Focus<br />Age as a Focus (Even Representation)<br />

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