Customer experience in the business-to-business context, drivers, measures and consequences

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The concept of customer experience (CE) has received increasing attention since the 1990s as researchers in the marketing field have sought to understand its relationship with customers' behaviour. While there has been a wealth of studies undertaken that have explored CE in relation to business-to-consumer (B2C), there has been limited empirical work carried out on business-to-business (B2B). This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by examining CE within the B2B context. It first attempts to define the concept of CE in B2B by examining the range of existing pertinent literature. Then, through the use of data from customers of B2B professional service providers in the UK, the study identifies the dimensions of CE and their relative drivers. It also explores the influence of time when present customer experience is formed, and perhaps most importantly, the outcomes of CE in relation to the customer's satisfaction and subsequent reported behaviour towards the professional service provider in terms of repeated purchase and word-of-mouth. To help ensure a comprehensive study with insightful results that would contribute to the CE concept, the research undertook two studies. Study 1 employed a mixed-method approach for the purpose of empirically deriving measures for CE. It also served to confirm the proposed conceptual framework. The purpose of Study 2 was to validate the newly developed measures identified from Study 1 and test the research hypotheses in terms of investigating CE as a multi-dimensional construct, the impact of past experience on present experience as well as assessing the drivers and the reported outcomes of CE. Thus, a panel study of B2B customers was employed and a longitudinal study was completed. Findings from this research provide insights into the CE concept in the context of B2B. They empirically validate the measures of CE, address its drivers including the impact of time, and through longitudinal data, demonstrate how B2B customer loyalty can be attributed to CE management to a considerable extent. Indeed, by sharing these findings, practitioners will better understand what leads to more efficient CE management, enabling them to reap the advantages of providing superior experiences for their customers.
Date of Award19 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorSpiros Gounaris (Supervisor) & Beverly Wagner (Supervisor)

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