The Multilevel Nature of Customer Experience Research: An Integrative Review and Research Agenda

A.M. Kranzbuhler, M.H.P. Kleijnen, Robert Morgan, Marije Teerling

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the last three decades, customer experience (CE) has developed from a burgeoning concept to a widely recognized phenomenon in terms of both research and practice. To account for the complexity of consumption decisions, the CE literature encompasses both the rational information processing approach to consumer decision-making and the experiential approach, which includes emotions, feelings and sub-consciousness. The authors classify and examine CE research on two levels. Studies on static CE analyze experiences during touchpoints at one point in time, while studies on dynamic CE assess how experiences evolve over time. Furthermore, both static and dynamic CE research take place from two distinct theoretical perspectives: the organization and the consumer. As both theoretical perspectives essentially deal with the same phenomenon – the organizational perspective with the creation of CEs and the consumer perspective with the perception of customer experiences – there is potential for a productive symbiosis between them. The authors propose that connecting insights from both perspectives can contribute to a better understanding of what constitutes a CE for consumers and how firms can effectively manage it. First, the authors discuss the development of CE and argue that it has evolved into a broad and fragmented ‘umbrella construct’. Second, after distinguishing and defining static and dynamic CE, they systematically evaluate the state of knowledge in both the organizational and consumer perspectives. Finally, they develop an agenda for future research that integrates the consumer perspective into organizational CE research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-456
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number2
Early online date21 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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