Measuring E-Service Quality: An Exploratory Comparison Study of Virtual Worlds and Websites
44 Pages Posted: 31 May 2013
Date Written: May 30, 2013
We explore how the three dimensional (3D) technologies on the Internet, implemented as virtual worlds, can be used to deliver e-service. Our aim is to study how this 3D medium differs from the traditional 2D websites and how this can be exploited to deliver online service. We set up a field experiment simulating a customer service center for a cruise line in both 2D websites and 3D virtual worlds. . A structural equation model is used to analyze the data. Our findings indicate that the increased level of immersion in the 3D virtual worlds as measured by telepresence and social presence is not the only cause of increased user satisfaction: the strength of the effect in our conceptual model also differs among the technologies used. These results can help companies decide which technology might be the better choice when delivering e-service.
Keywords: Virtual worlds, Online customer service, Service quality, Immersion, Presence, Social presence theory, Media richness theory, User satisfaction
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