Service Clues and Customer Assessment of the Service Experience: Lessons from Marketing

Berry, Leonard L.; Wall, Eileen A.; Carbone, Lewis P.
May 2006
Academy of Management Perspectives;May2006, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p43
Academic Journal
Because customers' assessment of services is based on performances rather than objects, they rely on the numerous clues that are embedded in performance when choosing services and evaluating service experiences. Indeed, it is often small clues that influence a customer's overall perception of an experience. Customers form perceptions based on the technical performance of the service (functional clues), the tangibles associated with the service (mechanic clues), and the behavior and appearance of service providers (humanic clues). Functional, mechanic, and humanic clues play specific roles in creating the customer's service experience, influencing both rational and emotional perceptions of service quality. Clearly and consistently designing and orchestrating clues is a critical management responsibility; businesses need to be "clue conscious" and add "clue management" to their job descriptions.


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