Perceived Risk in Service Consumption – a C2C Perspective
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- Publisher: University of Podlasie
In the field of services marketing some attention has been paid to the theme of risks associated with purchasing and consuming services. The literature includes issues such as: the relative uncertainty of services and goods at various stages of consumption; types of perceived risk; difficulties associated with evaluating services; service organisation responses to consumer perceived risk; and consumer risk reduction strategies. This literature, however, focuses overwhelmingly on service consumers’ perceptions of the service organisation, including its employees, its physical evidence, and its reliability. The services perceived risk literature has paid scant attention to risks associated with the presence or absence of customer-to-customer interaction (CCI).\ud \ud The paper is an exploratory one. It seeks to open up a new facet in the field of customer-to-customer interaction (CCI), namely, service consumer risk perception of CCI. The fact that CCI is widespread in many services, and that negative CCI can be a common occurrence, is well documented in the CCI literature. There has, however, been very little attention paid to examining the extent to which consumers consider the risks associated with CCI at the pre-consumption stage and how they may adapt their consumption behaviour based on the perception of risk.\ud \ud The paper provides evidence that service consumers do consider CCI at the pre-consumption stage. This evidence is in the form of illustrations from service observations and from empirical studies of CCI. CCI-perceived risk is examined from two perspectives. Firstly, how service consumers cope with the risk of potentially negative interactions with other customers (including non-customers). Secondly, how service consumers cope, in CCI-driven services, with the risk of not getting a sufficient amount of positive CCI. Finally, the paper outlines a number of ways in which service organisations can achieve commercial advantage by understanding consumer perception of CCI risk. Illustrations are provided of service organisations which managed to find opportunities in CCI risk.
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