CUSTOMERS’ RESPONSE TO ROBOTS OF DIFFERENT APPEARANCES: COOL ROBOT VS CUTE ROBOT
With robot utilization reaching $300 million in the hospitality industry, this paper aims to examine the difference in customer response between two types of anthropomorphic features (cute vs. cool) of service robots. Four scenario-based experiments (2 [robot appearances: cute vs. cool] x 2 [customer–company relationship norms: communal vs. exchange]) were employed in two different contexts (Study 1: service successful and Study 2: failure). The results showed that cute robots elicit higher customer satisfaction, repatronage intention, and willingness to spread positive word of mouth when customers were in a communal relationship with a company. The difference was significant only in the situation in which the robots’ service failed. This study offers the industry guidelines to decide on robot design according to their relationship with the customer and develops the topic of anthropomorphism in robots in that it looked into the different traits within anthropomorphism rather than human likeness versus nonhuman likeness.
- Master of Science
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- West Lafayette