Circular vs. angular servicescape: “Shaping” customer response to a fast service encounter pace

Stephanie Q. Liu, Vanja Bogicevic, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Although a fast service encounter pace might increase revenues for the service provider, its consequences on customer satisfaction and repatronage can be detrimental. To address this gap, the present study proposes a novel sensory marketing strategy (i.e., using shape cues) to soften customers’ negative reactions to a fast-paced service encounter. Specifically, we examine the interplay of physical servicescape cues (shape: circular vs. angular) and social servicescape cues (busyness: non-busy vs. busy) on customer satisfaction. The findings suggest that in busy settings, angular shape cues increase customer satisfaction through perceived competence of the service provider. Conversely, in non-busy settings, circular shape cues enhance customer satisfaction via warmth perceptions. These findings highlight an innovative sensory approach in managing customer evaluations of experiential consumption as well as communicating brand personalities through the servicescape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


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