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Investigating the impact of service line formats on satisfaction with waiting

Piyush Kumar and Maqbool Dada

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2021, vol. 38, issue 4, 974-993

Abstract: In this paper, we examine whether the format of service lines affects customers’ satisfaction with their queuing experience. Using a goal-theoretic approach, and data from a series of experimental studies, we show that the duration of the wait moderates the psychological tradeoff between the initial queue length and its rate of movement, such that customers prefer a single line format for shorter waits but a multiple line format for longer waits. We also show that satisfaction declines with an increase in the number of stages in service lines. This adverse effect of multi-staging can be mitigated by using information devices as well as orienting customers away from local, stage-specific, sub-goals towards the overall goal of receiving service and exiting the system. We synthesize these findings about the psychophysics of queuing to generalize a model of satisfaction with waiting that accounts for the effect of service line formats and can represent customers’ utility functions in models of queuing systems.

Keywords: Queues; Service lines; Waiting time; Customer satisfaction; Goals (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ijrema:v:38:y:2021:i:4:p:974-993

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2020.12.003

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