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The influence of social interactions on senior customers’ experience and loneliness

Song, Haiyan, Altinay, Levent, Sun, Ning and Wang, Lorna (2018) The influence of social interactions on senior customers’ experience and loneliness International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

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Purpose – This study uses the theory of third places to understand how different kinds of social interaction in small hospitality businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, can enhance senior customers’ experience and alleviate their loneliness.

Design/methodology/approach – The target population of this study was Hong Kong residents aged 60 or above. The sampling frame comprised respondents who visited a Cha Chaan Teng (that is, a Hong Kong-style tea restaurant) more than once a year. We distributed 500 questionnaires and collected 411 valid responses in 2016. We used structural equation modeling for data analysis.

Findings – The results show that social interactions (service manner and need identification) with employees and other customers have a positive effect on senior customers’ experiences while the service manner of employees reduces senior customers’ loneliness.

Originality/value – This study exhibits the respective contributions of social interactions with employees and those with customers to enhancing senior customers’ experience and alleviating their loneliness. This study’s new findings may serve as a foundation for future research on the relationship between social interactions, customer experience, and loneliness in third places.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Authors :
Date : 2018
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2018 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Uncontrolled Keywords : Social interactions; Customer experience; Loneliness; Seniors; Third places
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 19 Feb 2018 09:17
Last Modified : 14 Mar 2018 13:40

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