Value-in-use and service quality: do customers see a difference?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The definition of value adopted by the current service perspective on marketing theory is value as value-in-use. Surprisingly, however, little attention has been given to the question of what constitutes value-in-use for customers in service contexts? Therefore, the aim of this study is to provide an empirical account of value-in-use from service customers' point of view.

To capture and analyze customers' experiences of value-in-use in the typical service context of retail banking, this study employed a narrative-based critical incident technique (CIT) and a graphical tool called the value chart.

The study identified seven empirical dimensions of positive and negative value-in-use: solution, attitude, convenience, expertise, speed of service, flexibility and monetary costs. Interestingly, these value-in-use dimensions overlap considerably with previously identified dimensions of service quality.

Research limitations/implications
The concepts of service quality and value-in-use in service contexts seem to represent the same empirical phenomenon despite their different theoretical traditions. Measuring customer-perceived service quality might therefore be a good proxy for assessing value-in-use in service contexts.

Practical implications
As the findings indicate that service quality is the way in which service customers experience value-in-use, service managers are recommended to focus on continuous quality management to facilitate the creation of value-in-use.

This study is the first to explicitly raise the notion that in the minds of service customers, value defined as value-in-use and service quality may represent the same empirical phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Service Theory and Practice
Issue number4-5
Pages (from-to)507-529
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 30.06.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • value-in-use
  • customer value
  • service quality
  • service logic
  • critical incident technique
  • retail banking

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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