Anticipating a service experience
This paper explores the anticipations consumers have before service experiences. Consumers think ahead about future service experiences and may foresee problems or discomfort. This research examines the strategies consumers engage in to minimize the impact of these anticipated problems or discomforts. Qualitative interviews and the critical incident technique with a content analysis provide the tools of this study. In Study 1, planning and preparation, avoidance and adjustment, and seeking support emerge as three problem-solving behaviors. In Study 2, the same three problem-solving behaviors emerge, while a fourth category, gathering information, also appears. In addition, worry, as an emotional response to perceived risk, provides understanding to service anticipation issues. Social risk plays a particularly important role as well.
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