Designing Robots (07-15-21)

Belanche and colleagues evaluated responses to robots providing services; their conclusions are can be applied to design robot waiters or robot concierges in workplaces, for example.  The investigators report that their  “study analyzes to what extent robots' perceived physical human-likeness, perceived competence, and perceived warmth affect customers' service value expectations and, subsequently, their loyalty intentions. . . . human-likeness positively affects four dimensions of service value expectations [functional, social, monetary, and emotional value]. Perceived competence of the robot influences mainly utilitarian expectations (i.e., functional and monetary value), while perceived warmth influences relational expectations (i.e., emotional value). . . When serving a customer base that has a high need for social interaction, the ideal robot looks human-like but warmth is less valued. . . . on a service level some contexts are more likely to attract customers with a need for social interaction (e.g., services that require advice, such as in travel agencies, financial services) than others (e.g., relatively standardized services, such as fast-food restaurants).”

Daniel Belanche, Luis Casalo, Jeroen Schepers, and Carlos Flavian.  2021.  “Examining the Effects of Robots’ Physical Appearance, Warmth, and Competence in Frontline Services:  The Humanness-Value-Loyalty Model.”  Psychology and Marketing, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mar.21532