Channels in the Mirror: An Alignable Model for Assessing Customer Satisfaction in Concurrent Channel Systems

Maik Hammerschmidt*, Tomas Falk, Bert Weijters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Firms operating multiple channels as parallel routes to market face intense pressure to ensure superior customer satisfaction in their entire channel system. Relying on the structural alignment framework, the authors argue that to address this challenge, providers of concurrent channels should give priority to alignable channel attributesattributes that have corresponding or mirror attributes in the other channels. These features are more salient to customers than nonalignable features and likely represent the origin of satisfaction evaluations in concurrent channel environments. Applying multigroup nested models using data from off-line and online shoppers, the authors empirically validate choice (assortment breadth and depth), charge (availability of fair prices), convenience (efficiency of the purchase process), confidence (security of transactions), and care (assurance of promised quality) as alignable channel facets. The resulting 5C model is superior to existing models in that it enables the unified capture of both off-line and online satisfaction, allowing a meaningful comparison across formats. Using alignable satisfaction facets enables managers to trace true differences in the satisfaction levels between channels. In particular, a channel's share of investment should match its share of unexploited satisfaction potential. The 5C model also supports within-channel decisions by revealing the impact of the five facets on overall satisfaction with each format.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Service Research
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • multichannel retailing
  • retail services
  • channel satisfaction
  • structural alignability
  • cross-channel comparisons
  • invariance analysis
  • MEASURING SERVICE QUALITY
  • CONSUMER CHOICE
  • MEASUREMENT INVARIANCE
  • DATA-COLLECTION
  • FUTURE-RESEARCH
  • FIT INDEXES
  • PERFORMANCE
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • RETAILERS
  • PRICE

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