Title: Multi-channel services design: customer focus vis-a-vis channel coherence

Authors: Luuk P.A. Simons, W.A.G.A. Bouwman

Addresses: Faculty of technology, Policy and Management, Information and Communication Technology, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands. ' Faculty of technology, Policy and Management, Information and Communication Technology, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: Although searching for product information and buying via multiple channels has become common practice for consumers, firms are still struggling with designing their multi-channel service mix. In this paper, a design method based on quality function deployment (QFD) is introduced and tested for defining multi-channel e-services. Starting from a design research perspective, a field experiment was conducted. Two measurement instruments were used: questionnaires for business participants (n = 62) and a protocol for independent observers (n = 56) to measure performance of executing tasks in the design process. We found that business teams tend to be biased towards the supplier|s perspective at the expense of customers and channel partners. The new design method scored significantly better than the control group method on customer orientation, channel coherence and communication between different stakeholder perspectives.

Keywords: service design; design research; testing; field experiments; e-services; multi-channel services; service design; channel mix; design method; quality function deployment; QFD; customer focus; customer orientation; channel coherence; multiple stakeholders; interdisciplinary; service mix; electronic services; online services.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2011.039618

Journal of Design Research, 2011 Vol.9 No.1, pp.65 - 82

Available online: 11 Apr 2011 *

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