The Digital Representation of Physical Servicescapes and its Effect on the Relation of Customers Presented through Hotel Visits

Emir Kurtulmus & Vince Balogh

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis investigates how digital representation of physical servicescapes is affecting the relation between customers and hotels. Digital representation of physical servicescape is not a well known phrase for many, and this study will try to enlighten the impact and the idea it has for digital platform users in todays society.

Through comparative studies, this interpretivist research involves investigation of how digital platform users are influenced by digital representations of physical servicescapes. This study will involve academical literature from the academical terms, including among others: Servicescape by Mary Jo Bitner (1992), Ballentyne et al. (2007), Christopher D. et al. (2009) and customer journey by Dunn (2012).

The research is based on semi-structured interviews of eight participants, with recent hotel visiting experiences. The focus group was carefully picked to involve participants who had experienced both low star rated hotels and high star rated hotels’ servicescapes. One of the important criterias applied for the interviewee respondents was that, they should have used some sort of a digital platform to book their hotels.

Furthermore, we dive into the different phases of the customer journey that could impact the customers experience and relation to the digital representation of physical servicescapes.
We only focus on hotels as a comparison.

The first phase of the research focuses on the digital decision making and how they use the digital platforms for building expectations for their hotel visit.

The second phase of the research we compare the build-up expectations and the experiences of the hotel visits allocated with the outcome of the digital representation.

The third stage we go in-depth with the different stages of the customer journey, which includes the pre-core, core and post-core phases. In the customer journey part we also apply the emotional blueprint for a better overview.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages114
SupervisorsAd de Jong