The Role and Design of the Service Environment in Creating Favourable Customer Experiences

Jörg Pareigis
CTF-Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Sweden

Bo Edvardsson
CTF-Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Sweden

Bo Enquist
CTF-Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Sweden

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Ingår i: 11th QMOD Conference. Quality Management and Organizational Development Attaining Sustainability From Organizational Excellence to SustainAble Excellence; 20-22 August; 2008 in Helsingborg; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 33:16, s. 189-201

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Publicerad: 2008-12-09


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Purpose: The important role of the environment in service experiences is well established and accounted for in the marketing literature. Several theoretical frameworks and concepts have been suggested such as the servicescape. So far; the empirical studies have mainly focused on the effects of single variables; like music; scent or signage. Consequently; further empirical and conceptual research is needed with a holistic view. This paper contributes to this knowledge gap by building on a recent conceptualization of the experience room model. The aim of the study is to further explore design dimensions of an experience room. We examine the role of the experience room dimensions in the processes that result in the cocreation of value-in-use; while investigating their relative importance.

Methodology/approach: Contrary to current research in this field the context of this paper is a day-to-day continuous service; a journey using public transport. In line with the explorative character of the research aim; the study uses a qualitative approach. A special form of focus group interviews were conducted with the 24 travellers. The aim of the focus group discussion was to create an experience map consisting of design dimensions; which were subsequently specified with particular characteristics. The characteristics were categorised by the respondents into the different dimensions. In a second phase; these characteristics are rated according to their importance by the respondents.

Findings: Reliability; price and the schedule were the most important characteristics for the respondents; which were categorised by the respondents into different design dimensions. In the public transport context the dimensions Intangible artefacts and Technology seem to be of special importance.

Research limitation/implication: The study underlines that the customer perceives the environment holistically suggesting that the different dimensions of the environment are interdependent as perceived by customers.

Originality/value: The study contributes by providing a further development and deeper understanding of design dimensions available to service providers in order to design the service environment and the experience room supporting favourable customer experiences.


Service experience; experience room; design dimensions; experience map


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