Revisiting Service Quality Through the Lens of Experience-Centric Services



This article responds to calls for Operations Management (OM) researchers to investigate experience-centric services and their implications for service quality from an OM perspective. A model of service quality is developed, which takes into account the roles of both experience and functionality in the service delivery process (expressive and instrumental performance) as well as outcomes (experiential and technical quality). The relative contributions of these elements to customer loyalty are tested using survey data collected from customers of three self-identified experience-centric service providers. The findings suggest that the relative importance of the elements of service quality and the relationships between them depend on the nature of experience-centric service. Three roles that the experience plays are identified from the data. In the first case, experiential quality diminishes the need to meet expected outcomes. In the second case, experiential quality enhances a service with sufficient technical quality. And in the third, expressive performance contributes to technical quality. The research suggests a need to identify the nature of a service in order to maximize the benefits of experience design in driving service quality and customer loyalty.