Despite the popularity of multichannel service strategies, there is still a lack of empirical research that examines how service delivery channels of a multichannel service provider affect the performance of each other. Drawing on service management, information system and consumer behaviour theories, the present study proposes a theoretical framework for understanding synergism in multichannel services. The resulting conceptual model is further examined by controlling the possible moderating effects of (i) service complexity; (ii) service setting; and (iii) level of technology-based self-service. A two-stage methodology was applied for the current research. First, data from a survey of 223 customers in Australia was used to test inter-channel and intra-channel relationships in the resulting framework. Then, a series of simulated experiments with a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design were conducted to examine the influence of moderating effects. The experiments involved a convenience sample of 232 Australian students randomly allocated to two multichannel service categories, namely, financial services and travel services. Partial least Squares (PLS) was used to examine the conceptual model. Finally, Multi-group analysis was conducted to test the moderating effects. The major finding of this study is that service delivery channels reinforce each other’s performance through direct and/or indirect inter-channel effects between customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, service settings, service complexity and levels of TBSS were found to affect synergism by changing a positive direct synergistic effect to a positive indirect synergistic effect, changing cannibalization (negative effect of one channel on another channel) into a direct and/or an indirect synergistic effect; or changing statistically non-significant inter-channel effects into a significant direct and/or indirect synergistic effect.
|Date of Award||2013|
|Supervisor||Byron Keating (Supervisor) & Ali Quazi (Supervisor)|