General positioning and mission  

The Chair in Service Marketing and Customer Experience focuses on producing and diffusing high quality knowledge in the general fields of service marketing and customer experience.

Service marketing is briefly defined as the development of marketing strategies for intangible value propositions that strongly rely on the application of knowledge and competencies. Customer experience, in turn, relates to the creation of memorable customer encounters that are based on strong sensations and transformational knowledge.

These fields have grown in the last 20 years, and have become a prolific source of conceptual innovations over the years. For example, the influential notions of customer retention, relationship marketing, customer lifetime value, service recovery and service-dominant logic are all strongly rooted in service marketing.

In addition, this field is still getting momentum as shown by the increasing impact of the Journal of Service Research (JSR), the flagship journal in the field. Even more importantly, the notion of service is now becoming the soul of “ex-manufacturing” organizations—such as General Electric, IBM and Nestlé—who have realized that it is preferable to “transition” toward solutions and services, which are stronger bases for customer retention and profitability.

This mission is defined at a high level of abstraction so it can transcend the interests of a single individual and integrate the research of many students, scholars and organizations.

Three aspects of the mission need to be highlighted:

  1. First, the Chair will mainly focus its activities on academic research and, to a lesser extent, to transfer activities (i.e., practitioner journals, interviews with media and executive education). The Chair aims to devote about 70% of its resources toward academic research, compared to 30% toward transfer activities.
  2. Second, the long-term objective of the Chair is to create at HEC Montréal an internationally recognized center of excellence in services. Such an ambitious project can only be accomplished if Chair members publish regularly in major journals, and this commitment to quality will be deeply embedded in the Chair’s culture.
  3. Third, the Chair will mainly focus on promising substantive areas—two are identified below and others will be determined based on the interests of its members—and it will support these areas by pursuing three principal strategic activities (see figure below). Find out more about these areas and activities.