Technological advancement has expanded market reach and the ability of firms to get customers engaged through computer-mediated interaction. Concurrently, marketing has evolved from being based on transactions and relationships to a concept known as service customer engagement (SCE). SCE goes beyond traditional marketing approaches and involves a deeper customer connectivity to achieve value co-creation, a process which is known as service-dominant logic (SD-Logic). Researchers have conceptualized SCE as multi-dimensional (with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions) while firms have attempted to drive engagement at the marketing layer by using novel sales, advertising, and new customer service tactics. Firms employ two types of customer contact to engage customers; these include synchronous (two-way) and asynchronous (one-way) over various communication media. Applying the established theories of media richness (MR), social presence (SP), media synchronicity and a validated customer engagement scale (subdimensions of conscious attention, enthused participation, and social connection), this paper develops a model for measuring the effect of social presence and synchronous response time on customer engagement. The study explores synchronous response velocity (SRV) and social presence (SP), extending this to examine their effects on SCE. Constructs are psychometrically validated, and the SCE causal model is tested using a web experiment. Findings show that increased synchronous response velocity and higher social presence are positively related to SCE. Results further demonstrate the conscious attention dimension to be the most activated subconstruct during computer-mediated contact, exhibiting the highest weight. Additionally, this multidimensional SCE scale has been adapted and validated in a service context, which extend the current body of knowledge. Practical implications include understanding how firms can create more meaningful connections to customers by enhancing interactions, information transfer, and emotional attachment. From the standpoint of managerial implications, we address whether stronger human presence increases engagement and whether the cadence of firm-customer communication over computer-mediated channels improves engagement, thus increasing service quality and customer satisfaction. The future research trajectory is to understand business-to-consumer (B2C) activity at the firm-customer interface regarding computer-mediated communications along with the associated media types and their effects on relative customer engagement levels. Using an integrated approach, this research targets the marketing field of study while also attempting to expand engagement knowledge across several other academic disciplines.
|Commitee:||Mudambi, Susan, DiBenedetto, Anthony, Morrin, Maureen, Anderson, Lynne|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Marketing, Information science|
|Keywords:||Customer, Engagement, Presence, Service, Social, Synchronous|
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