Bridging the divide with a chat window: why consumers prefer using live chat support on foreign e-commerce sites
by Daniel C. Brannon; Muhanad Manshad
International Journal of Business and Emerging Markets (IJBEM), Vol. 11, No. 4, 2019

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.

Online publication date: Fri, 14-Feb-2020

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