Digital technologies are increasingly used for communication between service personnel and custom-ers. These digital service encounters bring along two changes: First, diverse digital channels such as text, audio, or video communication vary in the perceived media richness and perceived social presence of the counterpart. Second, digital channels allow service providers to employ service personnel remote from the customer and to serve a geographically wider, potentially global market. In this, there is a rise of intercultural service encounters. Therefore, we investigate how customer satisfaction is influenced by the type of digital communication channel and by cultural differences between service personnel and customer. We build a theoretical model on the effect of communication channels and cultural differences on customer satisfaction in digital service encounters. Afterwards, we collect data through an internet-based survey including a simulation of a digital service encounter and cultural differences. We use the data and structural equation modelling to test our theoretical model. Our results indicate that perceived media richness and perceived social presence play a substantial role for customer satisfaction. Contrary to prior literature on offline service encounters, our results suggest that perceived cultural distance does not affect customer satisfaction in digital service encounters.
Gimpel, Henner; Huber, Johannes; and Sarikaya, Serkan, "CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN DIGITAL SERVICE ENCOUNTERS: THE ROLE OF MEDIA RICHNESS, SOCIAL PRESENCE, AND CULTURAL DISTANCE" (2016). Research Papers. 91.