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Browsing by Author "Vehviläinen, Riikka"

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  • Vehviläinen, Riikka (2018)
    The emergence of service and experience economy has been described as a response to the development of technology, influence of demanding consumers and the challenges of tightened competitive environment. Successful companies are characterized by the capability of providing unique, memorable and emotional customer experiences. Service design and customer experience management provide tools for combining technologies, customers and experiences into one total customer experience. The purpose of this study is to clarify the possibilities of utilizing mixed reality (MR) in the timber trade and forest management services of a forest industry company. More specifically, the research question is, what is the role of human interaction in service encounter, how the different elements of customer experience management influence the customer experience, customer learning, brand image and behavioral intentions, and are there differences in responses between different forest owner groups. The research method combines both qualitative and quantitative methods, commonly known as mixed research method. The research was conducted as a controlled experiment in which the form of tutoring was manipulated in two treatments: face-to-face tutoring and digital tutoring. The data was collected using quantitative questionnaire and qualitative interview. The results suggest that timber trade and forest management services organized in the virtual forest influence positively customer experience, brand image, willingness-to-recommend and willingness to participate in developing the service. Learning was perceived relatively low but the service was perceived useful for managing forest property. The most benefits were perceived by forest owners whose forests were small-sized or relatively close to their place of residence. No significant differences between face-to-face and digital tutoring were observed. However, overall, face-to-face tutoring had more positive impact on brand image while in digital tutoring learning and perceived benefits were strengthened. The role of the customer service personnel is especially heightened in providing support for those forest owners who rarely manage their forests.