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Servicescape Navigation: A Customer Typology based on the Wayfinding Ability of Italian Hospital Visitors

Bonfanti, A and Vigolo, V and Douglas, JA and Baccarani, C (2017) Servicescape Navigation: A Customer Typology based on the Wayfinding Ability of Italian Hospital Visitors. The TQM Journal, 29 (4). pp. 546-563. ISSN 1754-2731

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to profile wayfinders into homogeneous sub-groups according to their wayfinding ability, and to investigate the differences between the clusters identified and their evaluations of satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses survey data collected in a hospital in the Northern part of Italy. The survey questionnaire assessed the participants’ self-estimation of wayfinding ability in terms of wayfinding competence, wayfinding strategy and wayfinding anxiety, as well as the wayfinder’s satisfaction. Findings: The findings propose that three factors, namely, (i) individual orientation skills, (ii) confidence in servicescape elements, and (iii) anxiety control, contribute to defining wayfinding ability. Based on these factors, cluster analysis reveals three profiles of wayfinders, as follows: (1) the Easy Goings, (2) the Do-it-yourselves (DIYs) and (3) the Insecures. Group differentiation comes from wayfinding ability and customer satisfaction levels. Research limitations/implications: The results of this study advance the segmentation literature by analyzing different types of wayfinding ability that can lead to different satisfaction levels. Practical implications: These findings will help service managers improve servicescape design and help them formulate effective targeting strategies. Originality/value: While previous research outlined the importance of some factors such as gender differences, familiarity with the service environment and cognitive approaches, this study recommends the examination of the profile of visitors to the service setting to allow them to find their way more effectively.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: service environment; customer satisfaction; signage management; orientation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of Products
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Publisher: Emerald
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 09:31
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2017 04:23
DOI or Identification number: 10.1108/TQM-01-2017-0003
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6131

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