Experience, Service Operations Strategy, and Services as Destinations: Foundations and Exploratory Investigation



This paper explores the customer experience paradigm as it pertains to service operations strategy and design. First, we operationally define and discuss the concept of customer experience. In this context, we propose a reframing of the strategic role of operations strategy as one of choreographing experience-centric services. We then introduce the concept of services as destinations as an emerging business model for classifying experiential service strategies. Our conceptual typology of experience-based strategies uses two dimensions: (1) the depth of use of experience as a source of value creation, ranging from brand experience to the services as a destinations business model, and (2) the degree of integration of experience internally within the firm. Using this conceptual typology, we develop five propositions and use multiple cases to illustrate firms' use of these experience strategies. Laying the groundwork for future research, we highlight insights from the qualitative, multiple-case data as they pertain to service operations strategy and the business model that employs services as destinations. A number of questions for further research are suggested.