Customer Activity in Service

Karl-Jacob Mickelsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Customer activity in service has mainly been understood within the boundaries of interactions with service providers. This paper goes beyond this view to focus on the customer’s independent activity, of which interaction is only a part. Moreover, the concept of customer activity remains largely unexplored and undefined. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to develop the concept of customer activity and to show how it can be applied in an empirical study.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper reviews the concept of customer activity in service marketing. It then goes on to characterise and operationalise the concept, and finally apply it to an explorative study. The study contrasts customer activity from the provider’s interaction-centric point of view with customer activity from the customer’s own point of view.

Findings - This paper defines customer activities as discrete sequences of behaviour that aim at creating or supporting some type of value in the customer’s life or business. A customer-dominant perspective on customer activity allows companies to understand the role of their service in the various activities of different types of customers.

Originality/value - The paper contributes to service research by bringing attention to the concept of customer activity and contrasting it with alternative concepts. The paper is the first to show how customers combine different activities (where service interaction is only one type) into systems, which they maintain to create value for themselves. By profiling customers according to activity systems, providers can understand their own role in the customer’s network of value-creating activities.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Service Management
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)534-552
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • KOTA2013
  • Customers and Relations


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