Contactless service in hospitality: bridging customer equity, experience, delight, satisfaction, and trust

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Draws from the equity theory and customer equity literature, this study aims to argue that the implementation of contactless service as an innovative service design in the hospitality industry can generate customers’ emotional attachment and cognitive evaluation of the brand. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses partial least squares modeling and data from a large-scale survey of hotel guests who have experienced contactless service in mainland China. The authors performed an importance-performance map analysis to evaluate the significance of critical variables and constructs by including the performance dimension. Findings: Customer equity is a three-dimensional higher-order construct that embraces value-, brand- and relationship equity. A pleasant experience of contactless service in hospitality encounters generates a positive effect on customer equity and delight. Additionally, increased customer equity improves satisfaction and trust. Practical implications: This study provides practical evidence for hospitality practitioners to consider contactless service in creating memorable experiences, improve customer satisfaction, build trust and add value to hospitality brands. Originality/value: The findings of this study add to the understanding of emerging contactless services, contribute to the development of the equity theory and current customer equity literature and advance the implementation of innovative service design in hospitality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-134
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022


  • Contactless service
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Customer equity
  • Equity theory
  • Hospitality technology
  • Service design
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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