Can Humanoid Service Robots Perform Better Than Service Employees? A Comparison of Innovative Behavior Cues

Stock, Ruth Maria
Merkle, Moritz
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This research compares human-robot interaction with human-human interaction. More specifically, it compares potential customer responses to a humanoid service robot’s (HSR’s) behavioral cues during service encounters with those expressed by a human service employee. The behavioral cues tested in this study include innovative service behavior, defined as the extent to which a service representative creates new ideas and solutions for the customer. Based on role theory and the expectancy disconfirmation paradigm, we propose that customers generally respond positively toward an HSR’s artificial innovative service behavior cues. The experimental laboratory study with 132 student participants and an HSR of the Pepper type, shows positive responses to an HSR’s artificial innovative service behavior, but that those responses are weaker compared to human-human interactions within a similar setting. Furthermore, innovative service behavior cues exceed customer expectations and therefore, lead to customer satisfaction and delight with the HSR.
Digital Services and the Digitalization of Services, frontline service robots in organizations, innovative service behavior, role theory, confirmation-disconfirmation paradigm
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