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Identifying initial contacts and their functions within the service encounter
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to create an understanding of what types of initial contacts exist within the service encounter and their functions for the interaction.

Design/methodology/approach – To study the initial contact between the employee and the customer, we have used a qualitative approach where observations were the data collecting method. The observations have been conducted in Karlstad at 22 different locations, which generated a total of 83 observations. These observations were analyzed and generated concepts and categories, that were incorporated into themes.

Findings – The research showed five types of initial contacts could be identified along with their functions. The types identified are the time effective, the improvised, the committed, the observant and the strategic positioning.

Originality/value – By narrowing the interaction to the first moment, this paper contributes knowledge about the initial contact which will facilitate frontline employees work in the face-to-face interaction with customers.

Research limitation/implications for future research – The study is conducted in Karlstad. Depending on which kind of industry examined and contextual factors, variations in the result may occur. The findings could differ if cultural perspectives were considered, which could be something to include in future research. Only the face-to-face interaction is examined. This creates opportunities for future research to extend this study by, for instance, investigate the initial contact over internet or phone. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 50
Keywords [en]
Service encounter, initial contact, interaction, frontline employee, verbal and nonverbal communication, improvisation, personalization
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-68586OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-68586DiVA, id: diva2:1233214
Subject / course
Business Administration
Educational program
Programme in Business and Economics
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-12-12 Created: 2018-07-16 Last updated: 2018-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Identifying initial contacts and their functions within the service encounter(1164 kB)69 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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