Essay: Services classification

Services are economic activities offered by one party to another, implying an exchange of value between seller and buyer in the market place (Lovelock, Wirtz and Chatterjee, 2011) Service customers expect value from access to goods, labor, professional skills, facilities, networks, and systems in exchange of money, time and effort, but they do not normally take the ownership of any of the physical elements involved (Evardsson, Gustafsson & Ross, 2005).Even though services do not involve transfer of ownership still major differences happen among services depending on what is being processed. In services people, physical objects and data can be processed. The nature of processing can be either tangible or intangible. Tangible actions are taken place of people’s possessions or on their bodies however intangible actions are performed on people’s mind or their intangible assets.


Services can be divided into four major categories: people processing, possession processing, mental stimulus processing and information processing.

People Processing

Services which have been directed at the people. People are transported form one place to another fed at restaurants, stay in lodges restored to health or made more beautiful. In order to avail these services customers must be part of the system. One cannot avail these services by maintaining an arm’s distance with the service provider. People need to be intrinsic part of the system to get the desired benefits.

Possession Processing

Services which are directed at the physical possession of the consumers such as insect treatment at a house, transportation of freight, laundry and dry-cleaning of clothes. In most possession processing service the customer’s participation is limited to dropping the items that needs treatment, explaining the service provider the problem and later picking up the item, after the processing has been done.

Metal Stimulus Processing

Services which are directed at people’s minds such as education, news and information services and entertainment. In order to obtain benefits of these services customer need to invest their time and put in certain amount of mental effort. Services such as entertainment and education can be created at one location and transmitted by various medium such as television, radio or Internet. Services in this category can be stored for later consumption. For example a television program can be recorded for later viewing or a class lecture can be recorded and viewed later on computer.

Information Processing

These services are directed towards the intangible assets. Information is the most tangible form of service output but it can be converted into tangible form through letters, reports or plans. The services which are highly dependent on data collection and processing of information such as financial services and professional services such as accounting, law, marketing research to name a few.


Service consumption can be segregated into three principal stages: prepurchase. Service encounter and post consumption

Prepurchase Stage: The stage begins with need arousal, awareness of the need and continuous through information search and evaluation of alternatives.

Service Encounter Stage: A service encounter is defined as the period of time during which a customer directly interacts with service provider.

Post Encounter Stage: In this particular stage, customer evaluates the service performance they have experienced and compares with their prior expectations.


Recent advancement in the technology has created a surge in developments of the process service firms and consumers interact (Dabholkar et al 2003) and raising a lot research and managerial issues in delivery of the e-service.E-service is not only becoming important in field of e-commerce but also superior experience they provide consumers with respect to information. As per Rust and Lemon (2001) e-service is “the role of the service in cyberspace”. E-services has also been defined as “those services that can be delivered electronically” (Javalgi, Martin and Todd, 2004).Boyer, Hallowell and Roth (2002) defined it as “interactive services that are delivered on the Internet using advanced telecommunications, information and multimedia technologies.”

Online service delivery is quite different from the traditional “bricks” channel as in case of retailing, post and mail order.E-service can be conceptualized as interactive information service where information is collected from and about consumers and analyzed by the service provider for the basis of customization of the service. Also e-service channel combines delivery and marketing communication which is achieved through exchange of information (Ghosh et al, 2004).

In e-service the customer’s interaction with the organization is through website. Customer have to rely on the sight and sound during an encounter whereas in traditional services customer can experience using all senses. E-service is an impoverished service as it lacks face-to-face interaction, which is the theme for relationship development (Zeithaml et al, 2000).

E -service: Information Service

E-service is conceptualized as information service since the primary value exchanged between two parties is information (Rust and Lemon, 2001).Various authors have pointed out that information availability and content are the major benefits of online shopping as compared to traditional shopping. Increasing the quality of information about goods and services may reduce the risk and uncertainty about them before purchasing.(Zeithaml et al 2002;Kim et al,2006) Information quality play a key role in formulation of customer satisfaction(Waite and Harrison,2002).

E service: self-service

Most of the authors consider e-service as self-service (Dabholkar, 2000; Sara 2000).However a few of authors distinguish between self-service and e-service (Surjadaja et al, 2003).In self-service a customer needs to go to the technology (such as ATM) to avail the service whereas in e-service a customer can avail service through Internet. Rowley (2006) considers all e-service as predominantly as self-service, either it is accessed through a web page, a mobile device or a kiosk. Self-service can be considered as the amount of control to the customers, although the extent of the control will be realized by the design of the self-service. Different customers may be able to realize self-service differently depending upon the personality of the customers (Bradley and Sparks.2002).


There are following characteristics which help us in differentiating between e-services from traditional services.

Intangibility: A pure service is intangible. It cannot be seen, touched, held or stored. Pure service is not a result of something which can be packed and taken to home. Pure services are essentially experiences. But not all services intangible. When people visit restaurant they purchase meal (tangible component) along with delivery of meal (intangible component).Many products are made of tangible goods as well as intangible delivery experiences. At the same time pure services are no tangible component and pure goods have no intangible component. The support for tangible characteristic of services comes from research of Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry (1990) who identified ‘tangibles” (the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel and communication material) as key dimensions of service quality.

E-services has certain symbolic component that such as plane reservation, tickets to a play which increases its tangible component. An e-service has consumer has flexibility in certain delivery options but has only fixed set of senses and information processing capability.

Inseparability: Pure services cannot be produced at one time and then stored for later use. The pure services are produced by the organization and consumed by customers at the same time. The process of production and consumption takes place simultaneously. The inability to produce service before they are consumed and check for defects, then deliver to a customer.

In e-service place of product and consumption is not attributable. They are highly flexible in terms of consumption and production. A band which plays music can record a song sell it on website. The production of song (recording) and consumption of song (listening) can be separated by both space and time.

Heterogeneity: Services are more heterogeneous than goods in their production and delivery. In services production and delivery require involvement of both service personnel and customers. The human element in the production and delivery process can result in no two services instances being identical. Thus different customers may have different demands that need to be met or same customer may have different demands at different points of time. The service production and delivery due to interactional nature is less standardized than the production of goods. The nature of heterogeneity of the service makes it more difficult to measure and do quality checks ahead of time to ensure that uniform quality standards are met. The human interaction makes service production and delivery heterogeneous.

An e-service is more homogenous than hetrogenous.Since most of the error checking will be done by software therefore does not have much of human role. However there can be variability in e-services due personalization demand from the customers.

Perishability: Services cannot be saved, stored for use at a later point of time, resold or returned (Edgett and Parkinson 1993; Zeithaml and Bitner 2003).Pride and Ferrell (2003) pointed out that unused availability of one time period cannot be used at future time period “If demand is low then unused capacity goes wasted but if demand is high then unfulfilled business gets lost..”Vargo and Lusch(2004b) argued that in some cases services are not perishable and can be inventoried. An e-service is an excellent example to such an exception. Unlike goods and offline services an e-service such as a song can be downloaded and retained for future consumption.


Lovelock and Gummeson (2004) proposed that there is no ownership of services. This characteristic is holds true for offline services as well as online services. Although there is one more characteristics in online services of being non-rival in demand (Asvanund, Clay, Krishnan and Smith, 2004) i.e. the consumption can occur concurrently without reducing consumer’s utility.


Emotions is an important subject of study in field of consumer behaviour (Cohen and Areni, 1991).There is no dearth of literature which shows that customer satisfaction results from emotions (Mano and Oliver 1993; Westbrook 1987; Westbrook and Oliver 1991).

Examples from the real suggest that emotion is crucial element in traditional services such as banks, restaurants or hospitals. If a consumer is availing prestigious service in a bank then he may expect bank staff to provide them with privilege service or exclusive benefits. Customers may be emotionally pleased if their transaction is conducted in an enclosed room with luxurious decoration. When customers are emotionally pleased with services they might avail more services from same bank or recommend to their friends and families.

Online shopping is enlarging the existing channel of retailing and extending traditional ways of shopping. It has been able to compress time and distance and customers can complete their shopping in just a few clicks. Customers have more access to information about the products and services (Alba et al, 1997).On one hand customer can do their shopping in just a few clicks on the other hand they might no longer experience the exclusive services of the personnel.

In order to fulfil the emotional needs in online environment led to technological innovations such as streaming audio/video. Several research have shown that store atmosphere such design, color, lighting or music can lead to emotional satisfaction to customers, which in turn leads to behavioral intentions (e.g., Donovan and Rossiter 1982; Yoo et al. 1998).

Website designers provide an atmosphere via their webpage which affects the shoppers’ image and experience with the online store (Eroglu et al, 2000).Web atmospherics is “the conscious designing of the web environment to create positive effects in user in order to increase customer favourable responses”(Dailey,2004).The manipulation of layout, atmospherics and theatrics contribute to the effectiveness by determining consumer’s inner feelings and overall responses.

In the study conducted by Vrechopoulos et al (200) adopted conventional retail components and introduced a framework to provide a comprehensive framework to understand online store interface. As per them the online store environment consists of three components:

(1)Virtual layout and design: The layout of the online store for navigation within the store. Vrechopoulos et al. (2004) pointed out that freeform layout is more useful in finding shopping list products in an online store.

(2)Virtual atmospherics: Colour attract a lot of attention on the shopper’s response (Wu and Yuan, 2003).Colour’s also affect the evaluation of website their likelihood of recommending the website to others. The display of text affect visual preference and reading performance (Wu and Yuan, 2003).

(3) Virtual theatrics: E-retailers try to look their website as a theatre. Designers try to introduce images, graphics, animation and cues.Benbasat (2003) claim that dynamic web interface is in greater user interfacexx demand than static web interface. More vivid websites provides more information than less vivid websites and lead to a positive attitude towards the website (Fiore et al, 2005).

Managanari et al (2009) introduced one more component i.e virtual social presence in online store environment framework. However in this essay this component has been proposed as a moderator in relationship between online virtual cues and customer internal state.

Virtual social presence: Consumers comment about their experience on the website E-retailers use their website in order to communicate customers the preference of their website.


As per Mehrabian and Russell (1974) there are three dimensions of emotions (PAD: Pleasure, Arousal and Dominance) is one of the most suitable measure to capture emotional response to an environmental stimuli. In the line with the previous studies pleasure means the degree to which person feels good, joyful or satisfied. Pleasure can be an indicator of “likeability” of the website. Arousal means the degree the person feels stimulated, active or alert. It can be considered as website “motivational power”. Dominance means the degree to which person feels influential or it can considered as pointer to “consumers control power” of the website (Poels and Dewitte, 2008).


Mehrabian and Russell(1974) Stimulus-Organism-Response framework suggest that online environment of the e-service stores influence the response of consumers through intermediate effects of affective and cognitive states of consumers (Mazaheri & Laroche,2012).

Stimulus: Online store virtual cues

In the S-O-R framework stimulus is an external element which arouses an individual. It is the factor that affects the internal states of organism. In case of online retailing it can be the virtual cues (virtual layout and design, virtual atmospherics and virtual theatrics) that impact the consumer. Clearly the store environment of traditional retailing has been reduced to a screen in case of online retailing. The site description contains many decorative and vivid graphics which enhances the quality of shopping experience. Cues such as colour, background pattern, fonts not only make reading verbal content easy but also affects the mood of the reader.

Organism Affective and Cognitive states

As per the S-O-R paradigm organism is represented by affective and cognitive states that processes the relationship between stimulus and individual’s response. Affective state can be classified into number of dimensions.Mehrabian and Russell (1974) emphasizes on the Pleasure, Arousal and Dominance dimensions of the affective responses. In traditional retail environment dominance is not included and pleasure and arousal alone is able to explain the range of emotion exhibited. However in online retail dominance may play a relevant role. Consumers may opt online rather over retail outlets in order to have an increased control over shopping. However in certain situations customers may feel to have lower level of dominance when download speeds are slow and customer is not in a position to contact the service provider.

Cognitive states refer to what goes in customer’s mind. It includes customer’s internal mental processes and states which includes beliefs, attitudes, attention and knowledge. In case of online shopping cognitive state refers to how online shoppers explicate the information provided on the website, choose from the various virtual stores and so forth. The online shoppers examine whether this form good/bad form of shopping alternative, whether like/dislike the process, any security concerns they have and how favourable/unfavourable their attitude is towards online shopping.

Response: Approach or Avoidance Behaviour

The response in S-O-R paradigm represents the approach or avoidance behaviour of the consumer. All the positive actions that may be such as intention to continue, explore and affiliate are considered as approach behaviours whereas avoidance means the opposite. Donovan and Rossiter (1982) found in retail context the evaluation of environmental setting affect their behaviour of customer in form of time they spent, the amount money spent, store exploration and so forth.Eroglu et al (2001) proposed that similar behaviour of approach and avoidance would exists in case of online context.




Source: Vrechopoulos et al (2004)

P1: The online cues affect the internal state of the consumer which affect their shopping behaviour.

P1a: The online cues may increase/decrease the pleasure level of the customers that might affect the amount of time customer spends on the website or affect his purchase decisions.

P1b: The online cues may increase/decrease the arousal level of the customer that might affect the purchase decision of the customer or the amount of time customer spends on the website.


P2: Virtual social presence may affect the relationship between online cues and customer internal States which affects the shopping behaviour.

For example: If the online cues (layout and design, background, graphics and animations) of a hotel website are superior it might affect the internal states of customer positively. Also if the virtual social presence (comments from other visitors) is positive it may further strengthen the relationship between online stimulus cues and internal states but if virtual social presence (the comments from other visitors) is negative it might weaken the relationship between online stimulus cues and internal states. Virtual social presence may have moderating effect of the relationship between online stimulus cues and internal state of the customer.


P3: Online cues may moderate the relationship between virtual social presence and internal states of the customer which in turn affects the customer buying behaviour.

For example: If the virtual social presence (comments of other visitor) of a hotel website is positive it might affect the internal states of customer positively. Also if the online cues (layout, design, animations, graphics etc.) are positive it may further strengthen the relationship between virtual social presence and internal states but if online cues (layout, graphics, design, animations etc.) are negative it might weaken the relationship between virtual presence and internal states of the customer.


Service providers strive to achieve “zero defects” service. The goal of organization to provide ‘get it right first time’ offer significant benefits both to consumers and service providers. However it is difficult to achieve this goal on all occasions because of inherent heterogeneity characteristic of the service and limitations of the service provider because of range of customer interactions they deal with. Since, service failures cannot be wholly eliminated therefore understanding the process of service recovery and how customers respond to these recovery strategies can help in smooth management of the recovery. Service recovery and compliant handling are seen as critical “moments of truth “for organizations in order to keep their customer’s satisfied. In this part of essay tries to explore the service failures in online context and recovery strategies adopted by service providers and its affect on customers internal state which in turn leads to avoid or approach behaviour(Schoefer and Ennew,2005).


Service failures happens when customer’s perception of service is below his expectations (Zeithaml et al, 1993).Bitner et al (1990) pointed that service failure occurs when service as desired by customer is not fulfilled or service delivery is delayed. For online customers service failure occurs when service is not fulfilled or falls below expected standards(Lin,Wang and Chang,2011).Holloway and Beatty(2003) proposed six types of service failures in online retailing.a)delivery issue b)problems with website design c)customer service issues d) gateway payment problems e)security issues f)miscellaneous issues. Forbes et al (2005) conducted a survey to understand types of service failures and recovery. Based on their survey they divided service failure of online retailers into two groups and ten categories, including (1) service provider response to service delivery system/product failure; slow/unavailable service, out of stock goods, system pricing issues, packaging error, product defect, bad information and website system failure; and (2) respond to customer needs and requests, special order request, customer error and size variation. The eleven types of service recovery include discount, correction, correction plus, replacement, refund, apology, store credit, unsatisfactory correction, nothing, failure escalation and replacement at brick and mortar.


The theory of justice originates from social exchange (Homas, 1961) and equity theory (Adams, 1965).In a fair exchange, the cost or price of the product or service must be equal to the gains. If the cost becomes higher than gains then corrective steps should be taken to reduce the level of unfairness. Service failures are inevitable in service delivery. In order to cope with service failures service recovery actions should be taken.

In real life recovery strategies are normally evaluated based on three components of justice. They are namely: distributive justice, procedural justice and interactional justice (Chebat & Slusarczyk, 2005; Collier & Bienstcok, 2006).Distributive justice points to whether the failed customer has received appropriate monetary compensation or not. Customers perceive distributive justice of recovery once they have received a discount coupons, refund, free gifts or alternative goods from service provider (Blodgett et al, 1997; Goodwin & Ross, 1992).Customer tend to evaluate distributive justice based on the perceptions of equality, fairness and amount of compensation (Blodgett et al, 1997, Smith et al, 1999).

Procedural justice points out on the flexibility and efficiency of the recovery policies and rules. In case of service failure if the offending organizations acknowledges the failure, makes efforts to rectify the mistake timely and adjusts recovery strategy in line with customer needs then customer can perceive procedural justice. The procedural justice can be assessed in line to whether customer can openly express their opinions, dominance over the outcome, and whether the recovery process is transparent and appropriate as per recovery process or policy (Blodgett et al, 1997; Chebat & Slusarczyk, 2005; Smith et al, 1999).

Interactional justice means the extent of the fairness with which service providers communicate and treat failed customers. Customers realize interactional justice of a service recovery when offending organization is willing to communicate courteously, honestly and empathetically during the process of solving the problem (Blodgett et al, 1997; Smith et al, 1999; Wirtz & Mattila, 2004).

Service recovery is essential owing to inevitable nature of service failure. If the customer complaints are not handled carefully it might lead to negative word of mouth, customer defection and low repurchase intentions. Moreover customer usually do not forget service or forgive unfair handling off service failures (Seiders & Berry, 1998).However in a situation when service providers are able to handle service failures amicably allows them to induce positive word of mouth and repurchase intentions(Blodgett et al,1997)..


Emotions means the affective state of an individual. These states are depend on certain events or one’s own thoughts(Bagozzi et al,1999).Several researches have shown that emotion consists of two main dimensions positive and negative(Cacippo & Gardner,1993;Cacioppo,Gardner & Bernston,1997).Positive emotions refers to happiness,love,contentment and pride on other hand negative emotions points to sadness,fear,anger and shame(Laros & Steenkamp,2005).

Smith and Bolton (1992) pointed that emotions are evoked in customers when services fail. In service failure situation customers mostly experience negative emotions – anger and disappointment. Moreover the customers who feel negative emotions are mostly less satisfied than those who experience little or no emotion (Burns & Neisner, 2006; Menon & Dube, 2000; Oliver, 1997; Smith & Bolton, 2002).

Service recovery although a different event from service failure but customer emotions will be evoked while perceiving service recovery (Schoefer, 2008).Various researchers have studied post encounter customer emotions under service recovery framework. Emotion is a central theme on which customers assess service failure and recovery(Bagozzi et al,1999;Schoefer,2008).The findings of recovery studies suggest that low perceived justice leads to higher level of negative emotions and lower level of positive emotions(Schoefer & Ennew,2005).Customers might display enraged emotions if they are disappointed with the outcome of service recovery(Wess et al,1999).However increasing the level of perceived justice might raise positive emotions of the customers. Perceived justice/fairness is identified as the key benchmark in the formation of consumers’ evaluative judgements of the recovery process (Tax et al 1998).


Customer satisfaction plays a crucial role in service recovery and directly affects the overall customer’s attitude and intentions (Halloway, Wang and Parish,2005).Post recovery satisfaction is different from the satisfaction customer perceived from the first service encounter. This satisfaction is also refers to as secondary satisfaction (Harris, Grewal,Mohr & Bernhardt,2006;Smith et al,1999).Post recovery satisfaction can be extensively used to evaluate the level of perceived justice(de Rio-Lanza et al,2000;Mattila & Patterson,2004).In examining online shopping Maxham III and Netemeyer92003) pointed out that distributive justice and procedural justice increases post recovery satisfaction.


In case of service failure of online retailers dissatisfied customers usually switch and spread negative word of mouth(Collier & Bienstock,2006).However customers who are satisfied post service recovery engage in positive word of mouth and develop more faith in online shopping(Montoya-Weiss, Glenn & Grewel,2003).


According to Mehrabian and Russell (1974) the recovery strategies adopted by service providers may act as stimuli(S) that affect the organism (consumers O) and results in approach or avoidance response (R)behaviour towards online store and in behaviours like purchase intentions, positive or negative word of mouth or customer defection.

The current study develops a model is based on the S-O-R framework(Figure above).The various recovery strategies mechanisms applied by service providers acts as internal motivators which impacts the emotional states of consumer and finally leading to avoid or approach response.

According to studies in the field of retailing, the recovery mechanisms adopted by the service providers can be reflected in the emotional state of the consumer.Studies have shown that customer’s view of perceived justice can directly affect the emotional state of the customer and lead to future purchase intentions.


P4: Customers will experience positive/negative emotions in recovery stage of a service failure if the recovery strategies adopted by service provider meets/does not meet the perceived justice.

For example:If the recovery strategy such as discount or replacement meets the perceived justice of the customer then it might evoke pleasant emotions in customer. But if the recovery strategy does not meet the customer expectations then it may further aggravate negative emotions of the customer.

P5: The post recovery emotional stage of the customer will influence the future purchase intentions of the customer.

For example: If the emotional state of the customer is positive post recover then customer may show purchase intentions or spread positive word of mouth but if the emotional state is negative post recovery then customer might defect or spread negative word of mouth.


The recent increase in the e-commerce has increased the importance of Internet in human life. In the tradition context customer can express their negative emotions by face to face complaining to service provider but in case of online context there is not face to face interaction. Customers can also spread negative or positive word of mouth to friends and families based on their experience In case of online shopping experience customer can express their emotions through online review sites through (word of mouth) WOM, which commonly known as eWOM. e-WOM is a communication with other members of social and professional networks which posted publicly for all to view. The online review not only provides the factual data but also the user’s feeling regarding the service provider. The collective of other customers can help a prospective customer to decide on their product purchase. The positive reviews can generate positive attitudes in customers and increase the possibility of purchase whereas negative reviews does just the opposite.

In order to get information about the emotion from each review lexicon based Sentistrength software can be used. The software has been proved useful to classify emotions from Myspace and Twitter. Reviews from was used to analyze the positive and negative emotions expressed by customer through online reviews.

AirAsia India’s reviews were analyzed to know the kind of feelings customers express through reviews’. A total of 15 reviews were studied and analyzed through SentiStrength software.Sentistregth is used to estimate the strength of positive and negative sentiment in short texts through informal language. It can report binary, trinary and single scale strength of sentiments through short texts. Positive sentiment strength ranges from 1(not positive) to +5 (extremely positive) and negative sentiment strength ranges from -1 (not negative) to -5 (extremely negative).


Review 1:

“Pleasure Flying with Air Asia”.

Gives the result has a positive strength of 3 and negative strength of -1.

Review 2:

“Good Airline with lot of Choices of Food.”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 3 and negative strength of -1.

Review 3:

“Smooth experience from airport to airport”.

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -1.

Review 4:

“Low cost leaves you asking for more…”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -2.

.Review 5

“Poor web services and no response to telephonic calls to call centers of India”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -2

Review 6:

“Terrible service”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 3 and negative strength of -4.

Review 7:

“Better than jet and vistara”.

Gives the result has a positive strength of 2 and negative strength of -1.

Review 8:

“It was good”.

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -1.

Review 9:

“Pathetic seats and worst take –off and landing”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -3.

Review 10:

“Not much too comment”.

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -1.

Review 11:

“One of my best domestic travel.”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 2 and negative strength of -1.

Review 12:

“Clean Comfortable Flight.”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -1.

Review 13:


Gives the result has a positive strength of 1 and negative strength of -4.

Review 14:

“Good aircraft.”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 3 and negative strength of -1.

Review 15:

“Cheap Flight’”

Gives the result has a positive strength of 3 and negative strength of -2.

Based on the positive strength and negative strength score it is possible to know the emotions of the customer who have availed the Air Asia flight.

These customer reviews both the number and valence can act as an input for the prospective customer to decide whether to avail Air Asia airline service or not. In a study conducted by Kim and Gupta(2012) found that if customer find a single negative emotion in one review then it decrease negative impact on product evaluation but it customer find multiple negative emotions in multiple review then it increases the negative impact of the product evaluation. On the other hand a single positive emotion in one review may not have significant impact on the product evaluation but multiple positive emotions in review may do so.

The reviews of the other customers can act as a stimulus for prospective customer. The stimulus may evoke positive or negative feelings in prospective customer regarding a product or a service. Based on the number of reviews and valence may affect the internal state of the prospective buyer. The internal state may lead to either approach or avoidance behavior.

As per Mehrabian and Russell (1974) S-O-R Model online reviews may act as stimulus for a prospective buyer and it may affect his or her internal state. The prospect may decide to avail services or not based on his affect and cognition.



P 6: Both the number and valence (negative or positive) of customer reviews may affect the internal state of a prospective buyer and that might lead to approach or avoidance behavior.

For example: Both the number and intensity of both of positive or negative reviews may affect the internal state of the prospect buyer which might lead to selecting a service provider for availing services or not.

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