Improved or decreased? Customer experience with self-service technology versus human service in hotels in China

Chun Liu, Kam Hung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Self-service technologies (SSTs) are becoming a trend and can potentially supplement or replace human services. However, the experiential aspects on which SSTs outperform human services remain unclear. This research adopted a sequential mixed method (60 in-depth interviews followed by two survey rounds) to evaluate the relative advantages of technology over humans. First, a commensurate measurement scale (5 dimensions covering 22 items) for customer experience with SSTs and human services was developed. Quantitative findings revealed that customers reported better actional and fresh experiences with SSTs, while hoteliers cited SSTs as only outperforming human staff in providing fresh experiences. Moreover, customers rated their experiences significantly lower than hoteliers’ perceptions. These findings enrich knowledge of the experiential changes elicited by SSTs and the differences between customer expressed experience and hoteliers’ perceptions of customer experience. Practical implications were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-204
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • commensurate measurement
  • Customer experience
  • experience changes
  • hotel
  • human services
  • self-service technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing

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