Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Service variation model in customer relationships
Author: Stathopoulou, Anastasia
Awarding Body: City University London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the variations of customer relationships across different types of services and it contributes the existing knowledge of service marketing in three main ways. First, it identifies and brings together a coherent and exhaustive set of drivers that can explain repeat purchase behaviours. Second, it identifies the relational bonds which can strengthen or weaken service relationships and repurchase intentions through different service actions. Third, drawing on Theory of Planned Behaviour, it develops a new comprehensive and integrative conceptual framework, applicable to the service variation context. A preliminary qualitative research was conducted based on sixty in-depth interviews in order to explore whether service variations exist and get insights on the key components of the new framework from a customer perspective. The adopted model was then empirically tested through a large-scale quantitative research in a random sample in London, providing new perspectives on services relationships. Through this empirical research the boundary conditions of the proposed framework were tested by accounting for different service types, based on four distinct service typologies. The results suggest that relational bonds can be classified into three categories: 1) universal relational bonds that transcend service categories, 2) service specific relational bonds and 3) inconsequential relational bonds. The findings also suggest that although most of the relationships in the model work universally, their strength is moderated in many cases by the service type. This moderating effect depends on the service typology used and the stage of the relationship. Thus, at the first stage of the relationship which refers to the link between service actions and relational bonds, the customisation and contact levels associated with the service (Bowen’s groups) as well as whether the service is consumed collectively or individually, have a significant moderating effect. At the second stage of the relationship which refers to the link between relational bonds and repurchase intentions, the hedonic or utilitarian nature of the service is very important. Finally, at the third stage of the relationships which refer to the link between repurchase drivers and relationship outcomes, the level of risk associated with the service (search/ experience/ credence services) is important. In addition to its theoretical contribution, the framework provides service providers with specific information and guidance in order to manage long-term customer relationships in a successful and a resourceful manner.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management