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Constructing an Empirically Derived Measure for Customer Contact


  • Deborah L. Kellogg

    (School of Business Administration, University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, Colorado 80217-3364)

  • Richard B. Chase

    (school of Business Administration, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1421)


This research provides an empirically derived measurement model for customer contact, a widely used construct in service management. The model was created by applying two psychometric scaling techniques, Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and the method of paired comparisons, and Content Analysis, to the ratings and responses of service research experts. MDS showed that the construct of Customer Contact is multidimensional and complex. An interval scale was developed using the paired comparison methodology, and a measurement model was developed using this contact scale. The central finding was that the degree or level of contact can be measured at the episode level by averaging the normalized values of communication time, the information richness, and the level of intimacy. The uses of the measurement model include refining current research, and reevaluating past research, developing contingency models for service quality and design, and providing practitioners with a richer understanding of customer contact to facilitate service system design.

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah L. Kellogg & Richard B. Chase, 1995. "Constructing an Empirically Derived Measure for Customer Contact," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1734-1749, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:41:y:1995:i:11:p:1734-1749

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    Cited by:

    1. Shannon W. Anderson & L. Scott Baggett & Sally K. Widener, 2009. "The Impact of Service Operations Failures on Customer Satisfaction: Evidence on How Failures and Their Source Affect What Matters to Customers," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 11(1), pages 52-69, November.
    2. Guillaume Roels, 2014. "Optimal Design of Coproductive Services: Interaction and Work Allocation," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 16(4), pages 578-594, October.
    3. Ravi Aron & Shantanu Dutta & Ramkumar Janakiraman & Praveen A. Pathak, 2011. "The Impact of Automation of Systems on Medical Errors: Evidence from Field Research," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(3), pages 429-446, September.
    4. Claire Senot & Aravind Chandrasekaran & Peter T. Ward & Anita L. Tucker & Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, 2016. "The Impact of Combining Conformance and Experiential Quality on Hospitals’ Readmissions and Cost Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 829-848, March.
    5. Yee, Rachel W.Y. & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Edwin Cheng, T.C., 2010. "An empirical study of employee loyalty, service quality and firm performance in the service industry," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 109-120, March.
    6. repec:eee:proeco:v:193:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yee, Rachel W.Y. & Guo, Yujuan & Yeung, Andy C.L., 2015. "Being close or being happy? The relative impact of work relationship and job satisfaction on service quality," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 391-400.
    8. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:455-471 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chowdhury, Sanjib & Miles, Grant, 2006. "Customer-induced uncertainty in predicting organizational design: Empirical evidence challenging the service versus manufacturing dichotomy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 121-129, January.
    10. Sunil Mithas & Jonathan Whitaker, 2007. "Is the World Flat or Spiky? Information Intensity, Skills, and Global Service Disaggregation," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 18(3), pages 237-259, September.
    11. Yee, Rachel W.Y. & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Cheng, T.C.E., 2011. "The service-profit chain: An empirical analysis in high-contact service industries," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 236-245, April.
    12. Shawnee K. Vickery & Cornelia Droge & Theodore P. Stank & Thomas J. Goldsby & Robert E. Markland, 2004. "The Performance Implications of Media Richness in a Business-to-Business Service Environment: Direct Versus Indirect Effects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(8), pages 1106-1119, August.
    13. Mei Xue & Lorin M. Hitt & Patrick T. Harker, 2007. "Customer Efficiency, Channel Usage, and Firm Performance in Retail Banking," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 9(4), pages 535-558, April.
    14. Ngo, Liem Viet & O'Cass, Aron, 2013. "Innovation and business success: The mediating role of customer participation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1134-1142.
    15. Ying Liu & Ravi Aron, 2015. "Organizational Control, Incentive Contracts, and Knowledge Transfer in Offshore Business Process Outsourcing," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(1), pages 81-99, March.
    16. Cruz-Ros, Sonia & Gonzalez-Cruz, Tomas F., 2015. "Service firm capabilities and performance: Contingent analysis of customer contact," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1612-1621.
    17. Nabil Ghantous, 2015. "Re-examining encounter intensity's conceptualisation, measurement and role," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 237-254, March.
    18. Chao Wang & Ilaria Dalla Pozza, 2014. "The antecedents of customer lifetime duration and discounted expected transactions: Discrete-time based transaction data analysis," Working Papers 2014-203, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    19. repec:eee:aumajo:v:18:y:2010:i:2:p:57-65 is not listed on IDEAS

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