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How positive service experiences contribute to service captivity


Stavros, C and Westberg, K and Russell, R and Banks, M, How positive service experiences contribute to service captivity, Journal of Services Marketing, 35, (6) pp. 774-790. ISSN 0887-6045 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1108/JSM-08-2020-0332


Purpose: Service captivity is described as the experience of constrained choice whereby a consumer has no power and feels unable to exit a service relationship. This study aims to explore how positive service experiences can contribute to service captivity in the alternative financial services (AFS) sector for consumers experiencing financial vulnerability.

Design/methodology/approach: A total of 31 interviews were undertaken with Australian consumers of payday loans and/or consumer leases.

Findings: The authors reveal a typology of consumers based on their financial vulnerability and their experience with AFS providers. Then they present three themes relating to how the marketing practices of these providers create a positive service experience, and, in doing so, can contribute to service captivity for consumers experiencing financial vulnerability.

Research limitations/implications: The benefits derived from positive service experiences, including accessible solutions, self-esteem, and a sense of control over their financial situation, contribute to the service captivity of some consumers, rendering alternative avenues less attractive.

Practical implications: AFS providers must ensure a socially responsible approach to their marketing practices to minimize potentially harmful outcomes for consumers. However, a systems-level approach is needed to tackle the wider issue of financial precarity. Policymakers need to address the marketplace gaps, regulatory frameworks and social welfare policies that contribute to both vulnerability and captivity.

Originality/value: This research extends the understanding of service captivity by demonstrating how positive service experiences can perpetuate this situation. Further, specific solutions are proposed at each level of the service system to address service captivity in the AFS sector.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:interviews, well-being, financial services, transformative, customer experience
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Marketing
Research Field:Consumer behaviour
Objective Division:Commercial Services and Tourism
Objective Group:Financial services
Objective Field:Finance services
UTAS Author:Banks, M (Dr Marcus Banks)
ID Code:150504
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2022-06-19
Last Modified:2022-06-28

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