| 27.03.2020

Doctoral thesis: Customers evaluate smartphone apps without actually using them

Have you ever heard about a smartphone app from a friend and thought that it sounds great, you must download that, too? There are several ways for customers to experience smartphone apps, some of which can be surprising for app developers.

In his doctoral thesis titled “Service Experience in Customers’ Everyday Contexts: An investigation of Customers’ Experiences from Using Smartphone Apps”, Apramey Dube investigates in what ways customers use smartphone apps. Until now, app developers have largely focused on customers’ direct use of smartphone apps and tried to make them as user friendly as possible. Dube’s research shows, however, that in addition to direct use experience, customers also experience apps indirectly in unexpected ways.

- My research shows that customers’ service experiences also include indirect use experiences which don’t stem from using the app by themselves. For instance, a boyfriend gets annoyed by his girlfriend spending too much time on taking care of a virtual (app) cat and decides he would never download that app. This consequence is hardly expected by the app developer, says Dube.

The findings extend our understanding of how customers experience service with technologically advanced platforms such as smartphone apps. Although originating from app use, the findings are also applicable to newer service platforms, such as wearable devices that provide flexibility of time and place and ubiquitous ease-of-use.

- Service providers must keep in mind the potential indirect and unintended service experiences that customers may have with their service platforms as they uncover new and innovative development ideas, Dube notes.

According to Dube, app developers should go beyond analyzing the physical use and visual design of apps and analyze the social context in which their customers use apps. This can be achieved from analyzing customer descriptions of their experiences, for example from customer narratives and reviews.

You can read the whole doctoral thesis here. 


More information:
Apramey Dube
E-mail: apramey.dube@hanken.fi
Phone 040 549 8016

Apramey Dube defends his dissertation on Monday, March 30th, 2020 at 12 noon. The subject is Marketing.
Opponent: Professor Bård Tronvoll, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Custos: Professor Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen

The doctoral defence defense will be organised via remotely.
Join the Teams-meeting here. The link opens on 30 March, at noon 12 pm.