A Standardized Model of Service Provider Selection Criteria for Different Service Types: a Consumer-oriented Approach

Ramunė Kugytė, Laimona Šliburytė

Abstract


Selection of a service provider in some services sectors is analyzed in length, especially in financial services. However, no common service provider selection model that would serve as a basis for all new researches in this field and allow comparing results from different researches exists. Since developed countries are dominated by the service sector and most of the population is employed by this sector, service provider selection criteria are of major importance to the whole service industry. Service provider selection criteria largely depend on the service type and therefore three types of services are analyzed in this paper: professional services, service shops and generic (mass) services according Ettenson and Turner and Collier and Meyer classifications. This wholly theoretical paper reviews the most important variables influencing the customer’s choice of a service provider depending on the type of service. The literature review revealed that different researchers in different service provider selection criteria studies used differentweighted criteria and therefore these results are hardly comparable. This significantly reduces the overall value of most researches conducted in this area. Thus in this paper the authors present an initial service provider selection criteria framework that could help service marketers to systematically analyze customers’ choice behavior. This proposed three-level model is based on service provider selection process model offered by Day and Barksdale (1994), Keaveney’s model for determinants of switching service providers (Keaveney, 1995) and a search-experience-credence services trichotomy. Such model offers a deeper understanding of service provider choice behavior allowing a three-layer analysis of choice criteria and provides service companies with a tool for identifying and capitalizing on the strategic opportunities within their respective target markets. Moreover, it reveals that each criteria category is constructed form a complex combination of many criteria variables that differs from one service to another. This paper should be interested not only to scholars in marketing and consumer behavior sciences, but also because of its practical applicability to executives and marketing specialists of service companies that need to develop or evaluate different customer acquirement strategies.


Keywords


customer behavior; service types; service provider; selection process; choice criteria

Full Text: PDF

Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839