The role of firm resource demand in shoppers' service experiences

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Firms are using more customer resources to increase the economic value of the service exchange. However, positive outcomes for a firm are not solely based on demanding more resource inputs from customers. In order to achieve a satisfactory service encounter for the firm and the customer, a firm must understand how a customer views the resource demands placed on them. This dissertation examines the conditions under which differing levels of firm resource demand improve or diminish the customer value through the customer's perceived effort, the equitability of the service exchange, and the overall satisfaction with the service experience. A number of boundary conditions built around customers' intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are expected to influence these relationships, including the customers' shopping enjoyment, the customers' value shopping orientation, and the firm provided rewards. In order to better understand how customers react to the demands firms place upon them, two studies are conducted. The first study uses a critical incident technique survey to explore the different demands placed on customers during a service encounter and the customers' reactions to those demands. The results from study one indicates that firms demand the use of a number of customer resources to complete a service encounter. Three main resource categories (financial, time, and knowledge) and a number of subcategories emerged from the data. The second study, a scenario-based experiment, examines the hypotheses developed from previous literature and the first study. The findings from study two provide managers' actionable insights into the costs and benefits of increasing the input demand placed on customers. Theoretically, the findings provide scholars with information about the psychological and behavioral reactions of customers to differing input demand levels.

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