ABSTRACT: Online retailers constantly strive to improve customer satisfaction. However, satisfaction levels can vary significantly across cultures when customers experience mixed quality services, that is, services with a mixture of high and low quality service attributes. Based on two studies, we find that Westerners (e.g., European Americans) react more negatively than East Asians (e.g., Chinese) toward mixed quality online services. Our findings show that due to differences in thinking style, Westerners (analytic thinkers) are more likely to focus on negative service attributes than East Asians (holistic thinkers), who tend to consider the amalgam of high and low quality service attributes as an integrated whole when forming their overall perceptions and levels of satisfaction. Moreover, the results suggest that for online retailers marketing across cultures, providing superior quality on each individual service attribute may be more important to achieving satisfaction for customers from Western rather than Eastern cultures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes