Dysfunctional customer behaviour in online chat support interactions: the perspective of service scripts and roles
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Purpose: Previous research has highlighted that dysfunctional customer behaviour is commonplace in service exchange interactions. However, most research has focused on what forms of dysfunctional behaviours that are prevalent in a face-to-face context. Instead of focusing on traditional face-to-face interactions, this thesis will address and consider dysfunctional customer behaviour in a live chat support context. Moreover, the reason why certain behaviours are perceived as dysfunctional in an online context will also be discussed from a role discrepancy perspective.
Methodology: The methodological approach relies on a qualitative case study of the online casino company LeoVegas. The research is carried out by conducting ten semi-structured interviews with the firm's live chat customer-contact employees. The interviews were conducted via the video chat application Skype.
Findings: The findings highlight five customer behaviour categories that the respondents perceived as dysfunctional. The employees thought these behaviours violated the rules and norms of the service script. However, the data implied role discrepancies between the employees and customers, where the customers and the employees had different views of the service script. The reason for these discrepancies were due to customer ignorance of reading the terms and conditions, which the employees and LeoVegas recognized as the service script. This resulted in customer violations of the service scripts which the employees perceived as dysfunctional customer behaviour.
Originality/Contribution:The thesis contributes with five employee perceived categories of dysfunctional customer behaviour in a relative unstudied online support context. A theoretical contribution of the study is the introduction of a new perception of dysfunctional customer behaviour, with the researchers arguing that dysfunctional customer behaviour is not about customers violating the service script but rather that there is a role discrepancy between the customers and the employees. This leads to an important managerial implication, that managers need to ensure role congruence between employees and customers so that role discrepancy may be avoided.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 53 p.
Dysfunctional customer behaviour, Customer misbehaviour, Roles, Service scripts, Role discrepancy, Live support chat, Online context.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42672OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42672DiVA: diva2:935268
Subject / course
Master Programme in Service Management: Master (120 ECTS credits)
Koskela-Huotari, Kaisa, PhD student
Skålén, Per, Professor of Business Administration