The Service Management Unit is devoted to the following three research areas. They share the common objective to explain the behavior of service providers and their customers from a social-psychological point of view:
„Service Management – Interactive“. A key characteristic of services – as opposed to tangible goods – is that the customer is involved in the service provision process. This is why interactions between the service provider and the customer is our primary research focus. Hereby, special attention is given to service recovery. Because failures and subsequent service breakdowns are inevitable, they are a typical operational problem area of any service company.
„Service Management – Meta-analytical“. The second research focus deals with empirical investigations which are based upon an aggregation of single study results. They are of great value to researchers and practitioners. They are able to answer questions about the general applicability of empirical findings, they help gain new insights and, last but not least, they provide a concise integration of previous knowledge of a research stream.
„Service Management – Interdisciplinary“. Service Management is shaped by many different scientific subjects and opens the door to connect with other disciplines. Therefore, the third area of research is dedicated to interdisciplinary questions. Such questions rank high in the research landscape because they offer the unique possibility to combine two related disciplines and thus to gain insights for both.
Roschk, Holger and Masoumeh Hosseinpour (2020), “Pleasant Ambient Scents: A Meta-Analysis of Customer Responses and Situational Contingencies,” Journal of Marketing, 84 (1), 125–145.
To prevail in the fierce competition of in-store experiences, some firms have focused on providing pleasant ambient scents. However, equivocal results on scent effects make generalizations and managerial guidance uncertain. While efforts to consolidate research findings have been conducted, a comprehensive quantitative integration is notably lacking. In this meta-analysis, the authors integrate 671 available effects from ambient scent experiments and show that exposure to pleasant ambient scents on average produces a substantial increase in the level of customer responses (3%-15%). The effects of ambient scents depend on situational contingencies and are, for example, positively related to congruency, unidimensional aroma structure, ascribed familiarity of a scent, service exchange, proportion of female participants in the sample, and imagined (vs. fictitious) offering. Thus, the authors estimate for expenditure increases by 3% and 23% for an average and a most favorable condition, respectively. The authors also examine effect patterns, identifying, for example, ambient scent as more cognitive than affective and nonlinear effects of perceived concentration. Using the insights, they develop a research agenda and provide a clear strategic guidance to leverage ambient scent effects.
Roschk, Holger and Katja Gelbrich (2017), “Compensation Revisited: A Social Resource Theory Perspective on Offering a Monetary Resource After a Service Failure,” Journal of Service Research, 20 (4), 393-408.
This research examines how to recompense customers, from a social resource theory perspective, which portrays financial compensation as the act of offering the resource “money” to customers during a service recovery attempt. This resource can differ in its particularism (is the money offered in a more or less personal way?) and concreteness (is the money offered in a more or less tangible way?), which are shown in two experiments to affect recovery outcomes. Specifically, personal compensation accompanied by a handwritten note from the service person (vs. impersonal: a typewritten note from the firm) fosters recovery satisfaction, mediated by justice perceptions, and reciprocal customer behavior (tipping, cross-buying), mediated by an obligation to reciprocate. Tangible compensation in the form of a banknote or banknote-like coupon (vs. intangible: a credit entry) also fosters reciprocal customer behavior via the obligation to reciprocate. In both studies, relationship strength amplifies the indirect effect of compensation’s particularism on recovery satisfaction. As a theoretical contribution, we show that the way the monetary resource is presented matters for service recovery. As a major managerial takeaway, this research presents personal (vs.impersonal) compensation as an impactful property of compensation: It increases recovery outcomes without additional monetary costs. Further, managers learn that handing over the money in a personal and tangible way can be a way to increase monetary returns to the firm in the form of tipping and cross-buying.
Roschk, Holger, Sandra Maria Correia Loureiro, and Jan Breitsohl (2017), “Calibrating 30 Years of Experimental Research: A Meta-Analysis of the Atmospheric Effects of Music, Scent, and Color,” Journal of Retailing, 93 (2), 228-240.
Atmospheric in-store stimuli have been the subject of considerable empirical investigation for over 30 years. This research presents a meta-analysis of 66 studies and 135 effects (N = 15,621) calibrating the atmospheric effects of music, scent, and color on shopping outcomes. At an aggregate level, the results reveal that environments in which music or scent are present yield higher pleasure, satisfaction, and behavioral intention ratings when compared with environments in which such conditions are absent. Warm colors produce higher levels of arousal than cool colors, while cool colors produce higher levels of satisfaction than warm colors. The estimated average strength of these relationships ranged from small to medium. Effect sizes exhibited significant between-study variance, which can be partly explained by the moderators investigated. For instance, larger effect sizes were observed for the relationship between scent and pleasure in those samples with a higher (vs. lower) proportion of females. Data also indicated a tendency toward stronger music and scent effects in service settings as compared to retail settings. The results of this analysis, based on data aggregated across the research stream, offer retailers a guide to enhance customers’ shopping experience through judicious use of in-store atmospheric stimuli.
Roschk, Holger and Katja Gelbrich (2014), “Identifying Appropriate Compensation Types for Service Failures: A Meta-analytic and Experimental Analysis,” Journal of Service Research, 17 (2), 195-210.
This article examines how compensation type and failure type explain the recovery effect of compensation, using a meta-analysis (Study 1) and an experiment (Study 2). Drawing on resource exchange theory, we propose new classifications for both compensation and failure type and find three major results. First, consistent with our matching hypothesis, the strongest recovery effect is generally observed when compensation represents a resource similar to the failure it is supposed to offset, that is, immediate monetary compensation for a monetary failure, exchange for a flawed product, reperformance for a failed service, and psychological compensation for lack of attention. Surprisingly, lack of attention may also be rectified by the other compensation types. Second, consistent with our intertemporal choice hypothesis, immediate monetary compensation is generally more effective than delayed monetary compensation. Yet, this effect also varies with failure type. Third, resource-based classifications explain the recovery effect of compensation better than current classifications of compensation and failure type. As a theoretical contribution, the resource-based classifications help to explain the fluctuating effect sizes of compensation reported in prior research. From a managerial point of view, practitioners can choose the appropriate compensation type for a failure, one that repays in kind what customers have lost. As a result, companies achieve stronger recovery effects without additional costs.
Roschk, Holger and Susanne Kaiser (2013), “The Nature of an Apology: An Experimental Study on How to Apologize After a Service Failure,“ Marketing Letters, 24 (3), 293-309.
Extant service recovery research treats apology as a dichotomy, in that it is either present or absent, but how it is conveyed is neglected. Based upon social psychological research, this study argues that an apology comprises three different components: empathy, intensity, and timing, which make each apology unique. It is shown that how well an apology is delivered across failure types (outcome vs. process) drives service recovery satisfaction, not its mere presence. Empathy, intensity, and timing separately impact satisfaction. The more empathic and intense the apology is given, the more satisfied respondents are. A late apology decreases satisfaction ratings. Effect sizes indicate that empathy has the strongest impact on service recovery satisfaction followed by intensity and timing. The effect of empathy is stronger for process failures than for outcome failures. Interestingly, the apology’s overall effect size is comparable to that of compensation in case of a process failure.
Gelbrich, Katja and Holger Roschk (2011). “A Meta-Analysis of Organizational Complaint Handling and Customer Responses,“ Journal of Service Research, 14 (1), 24-43.
Service recovery is a crucial success factor for organizations. Thus, many studies have addressed the issue of post-complaint behavior. Conducting a meta-analysis, the authors test the following path model: ‘‘organizational responses (compensation, favorable employee behavior, and organizational procedures) → justice perceptions (distributive, interactional, and procedural justice) → post-complaint satisfaction (transaction-specific and cumulative satisfaction) → customer behavioral intentions (loyalty and positive word of mouth WOM).’’ The results confirm this model as well as the mediating role of justice perceptions and post-complaint satisfaction. Surprisingly, the results also show that the common contention of distributive justice as the salient driver of service recovery is only true for transaction-specific satisfaction, which in turn reinforces positive WOM. Cumulative satisfaction, however, which is the primary antecedent of customer loyalty, even slightly more depends on interactional justice than on distributive justice. Further, the results show that the relationships between justice perceptions and satisfaction constructs depend on several moderators such as target group, industry, and complaint type. A major managerial implication is the fact that organizations should pay particular attention to distributive justice when complainants are students and to interactional justice when failure is nonmonetary or occurs in service industries. The authors discuss theoretical implications and provide suggestions for future research.
In the press
2019 Newspaper article “Jazz niemals mit Orangenduft” in Der Standard (December 18th, p. 9)
2019 Newspaper article “Wenn es gut riecht, klingelt die Kasse” in Kleine Zeitung (November 17th, p. 41)
2019 Magazine article „Guter Geruch“ in News (45/2009, p. 39)
2019 Radio interview „Die Profis“ on Radioeins (November 1st)
2019 Press release “Studien: Guter Geruch kann sich positiv auf Konsumverhalten auswirken“ in APA Science (October 28th)
2019 Press release “Studie aus Klagenfurt | Guter Geruch wirkt sich positiv auf Konsumverhalten aus“ in Kleine Zeitung (October 28th)
2019 Newspaper article “Beschwerdemanagement: Mehr Wissen fordern” in Kronen Zeitung (February 20th, p. 50)
2018 Magazine article “Paying by card? You’re less likely to remember the amount paid” in Business Matters (October 21st)
2017 Newspaper article “Barzahlungen verschaffen Transparenz” in Kleine Zeitung (December 30th, p. 36f.)
2017 Radio interview “Transparenz beim Geldausgeben” on Radio Kaernten (November 17th)
2017 Newspaper article “Kartenzahler vergessen Beträge schneller” in Der Standard (November 9th, p. 15)
2017 Newspaper article “Wer bar zahlt, erinnert sich besser” in Kleine Zeitung (November 9th, p. 32)
2017 Press release “Kartenzahler vergessen Beträge schneller” in APA Science (November 8th)
2017 Newspaper article “Das Haar in der Suppe: Wie ansteckend ist Ärger?” in Kleine Zeitung (October 2nd, p. 16)
2017 Newspaper article “Art von Geldübergabe entscheidend” in Kronen Zeitung (July 19th, p. 47)
2017 Newspaper article “Finanzielle Wiedergutmachung” in Kleine Zeitung (July 8th, p. 15)
2017 Newspaper article “Entschuldigung per Handschrift” in Die Presse (July 8th, p. 28)
2017 Press release “Studie: Mit Handschrift und Bargeld zur besseren Entschuldigung” in APA Science (July 4th)
2017 Guest talk “Smells Like Teen Spirit: Können wir eigentlich wirklich das Verhalten von Kunden mittels Musik, Gerüchen und Farben beeinflussen?” on the joint conference of the German, Swiss, and Austrian Councils of Shopping Centers (June 29th)
2017 Newspaper article “Fehler im Service, Ärger mit vielen Kunden” in Kleine Zeitung (May 6th, p. 26f.)
2017 Newspaper article “Besondere Zahlen” in Die Presse (January 8th, p. 24)
2017 Magazine article “Wussten Sie, dass …” in ad astra (1/2017, p. 33)
2016 Press release “Warum Metallica keine Fahrstuhlmusik ist” in ORF.Science (December 22nd)
2016 Newspaper article “Musik und Gerüche steuern Kunden” in Kleine Zeitung (December 3rd, p. 31)
2016 Newspaper article “Riecht es hier nach Manipulation” in Die Presse (November 12th, p. 33)
2016 Press release “Wer sich wohlfühlt, kauft mehr ein” in ORF.Kaernten (November 5th)
2016 Newspaper article “Die Kunst der Verführung” in Kurier (November 4th, p. 30)
2016 Newspaper article “Konsum, Kultur und Coffeeshop” in Kleine Zeitung (October 22nd, p. 30f.)
2016 Newspaper article “Kaffeetrinker beobachtet – Verhalten bei Starbucks entspricht nicht Kulturkreis” in diePresse (October 8th, p. 35)
2016 Press release “Lieber gemeinsam zu Starbucks als coffee to go” in Kurier (October 5th)
2016 Magazine article “Premiumhandelsmarken” in ad astra (2/2016).
2015 Newspaper article “Nur eine ehrliche Entschuldigung, die von Herzen kommt, hilft” in Nürnberger Nachrichten (August 3rd, p. B8).
2015 Magazine article “Entschuldigen Sie bitte vielmals!” in AGORA (1/2015).
2015 Master thesis of Ms. Gafeeva receives the Germany-wide recognized HORIZONT-Award.
2014 Master thesis of Ms. Gafeeva receives the Maximilian-Bickhoff-Award for outstanding study achievements.
2014 Newspaper article “Die Kunst der Entschuldigung” in Donaukurier (January 23rd, p. 35).
2013 Press release “The Box Office Effects of Word of Mouth” in Art and Numbers (December 19th).
2011 Best paper of the conference, ANZMAC-Conference.
2011 Best paper in a track (Services Marketing), ANZMAC-Conference.