Customer Experience Management in bus travel industry

Eva Motlova

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The main aim of this master thesis is to address the issue of how bus carriers can differentiate through enhancing customer experience on long-distance journeys by utilising Customer Experience Management (CEM)practices, explicitly focusing on RegioJet as an exemplifying case.Researchers and practitioners agree that in today's turbulent environment competing on price is not sufficient.To differentiate, ensure sustainability,and future economic growth companies must find out how to stage exceptional experiences. The literature on experience economy suggests that experiences must be unique, involve all one ́s senses and engage customers outside daily routine to be remembered(Pine II & Gilmore, 1999; Boswijk & Thijssen & Peelen, 2007; Sundbo & Sørensen, 2013to name a few)."...business leaders are recognizing the competitive advantage of superior customer experience and the value that resides not only in what a company delivers for its customers,but in how it delivers products and services"(McKinsey & Company, 2017). Accepting Customer Experience Management (CEM) as a new strategic approach towards becoming a truly customer-centric company in increasing not only among service companies(Homburg, Jozić & Kuehnl, 2017). However, literature on howto manage this process successfully is still limited. Morever, not many researchers dealt with customer experiences during bus travels.Thus, the theoretical background of this thesis is based on experience economy literature that deals with how should be optimal experience created. Additionally, available literature on CEM is critically reviewed and concluded with CEM framework for managing customer experiences of own collaboration, based on combination of most relevant findings from experience economy and CEM.The research strategy of this thesis builds on the grounds of interpretivist epistemology and constructivist ontology. Questionnaire, semi-structured qualitative interviews and online-reviews analysis were used to explore the experiential world of RegioJet customers. These findings provided insight into how the bus travel experience could be enriched emotionally and not only functionally.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages122