Inderscience Publishers

Waiting in multi–stage services: an exploration across service industries

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This field study explores the relative importance of waiting time perception with waits before, during and following the actual service delivery in three multi–stage services. Data were collected in various service settings, i.e., in restaurants, assessment and dental services in the Netherlands. Structural equation modelling is used to analyse the data. Results imply that in restaurant services, the service–entry wait has the largest influence on service evaluation, in the assessment services the service–exit wait is predominant and in the dental services, the in–service wait is the most important wait. Researchers and practitioners are suggested to apply a stage approach when considering waiting time satisfaction in their work. This study is one of the first to empirically explore the effect of service waits in multiple succeeding services stages outside restaurant services.

Keywords: waiting time perceptions, waiting times, multi–stage services, service evaluation, service management, service industries, service delivery, customer satisfaction, restaurants, dental services, The Netherlands, structural equation modelling, SEM, restaurant services, assessment services

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