Doctorate in Business and Socioeconomic Sciences

Digital Consumers and Service Innovation

Technology for transactions with clients, information for consumers and a tool to store experiences in the form of pictures on the mobile phone have become reality. Businesses need to increasingly understand how to leverage technology to maintain a competitive edge and they need to continuously re-invent themselves.

Given those trends there are four streams of research eminent: A) To create memorable service/tourist/customer experiences it is important to understand the customers’ needs and match them with firms’ capabilities. Even more so, it is important to understand the whole customer journey and find innovative ways to create and design such consumption experiences. There is still a lack of research regarding experience design, design for service innovations that is also taking service failure into account. B) Technology is widely used before a service encounter/trip to search for information, to book, do reservations and the like. Also after a trip or service encounter customers tend to provide feedback about their experience and do reviews. However, there still needs to be research done to understand technology use during the trip and even more importantly to understand how technology impacts the experiences customers/tourists make. C) The wealth of online user generated content hints at the potential of tourist/user driven innovation in a service setting. Typically innovations in services are less radical and less frequent, therefore, open innovation might be a fantastic tool to stimulate innovation in the services sector. There is still a lack of research to understand innovation in a value creation network such as tourism. D) Content consumption and production can now be done by service providers but also by individuals through blogs, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. There is still a lack of research regarding the effectiveness of peer to peer created marketing activities.