Customer acceptance of tradable service contracts
Abstract Service providers from various industries design and sell, using retail channels, tradable service contracts (TSC). These are vouchers for predetermined services which can be claimed at a later time. TSCs promise to broaden service providers’ reach and increase marketing and sales efficiency—as long as consumers accept this new type of service sales and provision. Based on institutional analysis, new institutional economics, and the service marketing literature this article conceptualizes TSCs, compares them with traditional service sales and provision, and identifies drivers of customer acceptance that link supply and demand sides, making them readily actionable for managers. In a scenario-based quasi-experiment with a sample representative of the German population (n = 621), TSCs cause greater customer perceived uncertainty but fewer transaction costs than traditional service sales and provision. Six determinants of those central barriers to customer acceptance, derived from new institutional economic theory, are tested using structural equation modeling. Multi-group analysis shows that the provider reputation—uncertainty link and the transaction cost—acceptance link are more pronounced for TSCs than for traditional service sales and provision. Increasing service availability through intelligent retail partner choice is the strongest managerial implication for service providers using TSCs.
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Volume (Year): 87 (2017)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
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