Revisiting service quality through the lens of experience-centric services

Ahmad Beltagui*, Marina Candi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to revisit prevailing notions of service quality by developing and testing a model of service quality for experience-centric services. Design/methodology/approach: By problematizing the service quality literature, a model is developed to capture impacts of outcome-achievement, instrumental performance and expressive performance on customer loyalty. A multi-group structural equation model is tested to establish the moderating effect of perceived service character – utilitarian or hedonic. Findings: Outcome-achievement mediates the direct relationships between instrumental and expressive performance, respectively, and loyalty; the strength of these relationships is moderated by perceived service character. Research limitations/implications: Emotional design to improve the experience is effective provided the expected outcome is achieved. However, for services that customers perceive as experience-centric, the outcome may be somewhat ambiguously defined and expressive performance is valued more highly than instrumental performance. Practical implications: Understanding customers’ perception of a service – whether customers seek value related to outcomes or emotions – is crucial when selecting appropriate measures of service quality and performance. Creating a good experience is generally beneficial, but it must be designed according to the character of the service in question. Originality/value: The research presents empirical evidence on how service experience contributes to customer loyalty by testing a model of service quality that is suited to experience-centric services. Furthermore, it identifies the importance of understanding service character when designing and managing services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-932
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • customer loyalty
  • experience
  • experience-centric service
  • service design
  • service quality
  • structural equation model


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