Title: Bridging the divide with a chat window: why consumers prefer using live chat support on foreign e-commerce sites

Authors: Daniel C. Brannon; Muhanad Manshad

Addresses: Monfort College of Business, University of Northern Colorado, 800 17th St., Greeley, CO, 80639, USA ' Monfort College of Business, University of Northern Colorado, 800 17th St., Greeley, CO, 80639, USA

Abstract: In the present research, we investigate how consumers using a foreign (vs. domestic) e-commerce site (e.g., Alibaba.com, JD.com) prefer to communicate with customer service agents on that site. Our results suggest that consumers using a foreign (vs. domestic) site prefer to communicate with service agents on computer-mediated channels, such as live chat, instead of more traditional and direct channels, such as phone. Driving this effect, consumers on foreign sites have lower expectations of their ability to communicate with service agents. Further, we explore individual differences in uncertainty avoidance as a moderator of this basic effect. Our research contributes to existing literature by looking at the benefits of computer-mediated environments in the context of cross-cultural service encounters.

Keywords: computer-mediated environments; live chat; customer service; cultural congruence.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBEM.2019.105229

International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets, 2019 Vol.11 No.4, pp.335 - 347

Received: 18 Jan 2019
Accepted: 23 Feb 2019

Published online: 14 Feb 2020 *

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