Customer Interactions research



An image of two hands shaking made out of lights

Literally billions of customer interactions occur each day. They are of different types, including interactions between employees and customers (E2C); interactions between customers (C2C); and interactions between customers and self-service technology (C2SST). Many of these interactions are quite complex – especially when they do not go as expected. The Customer Interactions research team focuses on trying to identify, explore and explain these complexities.

The research team aims to advance understandings of customer behaviours and interactions in the marketplace through conceptual and applied research driven by marketing and management problems and challenges. The team’s activities are directed at providing excellent research that contributes to the wider community of customers, business and the public.

Impact is of critical importance in motivating research projects with the objective of advancing knowledge, contributing to societal change and advancement, and training the next generation of junior researchers.


Associate Members

Dr Mahinaz Hafez

Dr Alex Kay (Hartpury University)

Current Projects

  • Customer value management and customer touchpoints
  • Customer-to-customer interaction in retailing
  • Customer interactions with self-service – an older consumer perspective
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Intergenerational consumption decisions
  • Brand association, personality and identification

Recent Publications

  • Azemi, Y., Ozuem, W., Wiid, R., & Hobson, A. (2022). Luxury fashion brand customers’ perceptions of mobile marketing: Evidence of multiple communications and marketing channels. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 66, 102944.
  • Heinonen, K., & Nicholls, R. (2022). Customer-to-customer interactions in service. In The Palgrave Handbook of Service Management (pp. 629-654). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
  • Khan, A., Rezaei, S., & Valaei, N. (2022). Social commerce advertising avoidance and shopping cart abandonment: A fs/QCA analysis of German consumers. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 67, 102976.
  • Nicholls, R. (2022). ‘Consumption as Work’-Questioning the Meaning of ‘Retirement’ in the Self-Service Economy. Journal of Population Ageing, 15(2), 493-513.
  • Mawson, S. and Kasem, L. (2019), “Exploring the Entrepreneurial Intentions of Syrian Refugees in the UK”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 25 (5), pp. 1128-1146.
  • Nicholls, R. (2020), “What goes on between customers? A cross-industry study of customer-to-customer interaction”, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30 (2), pp. 123-147.
  • Nicholls, R. and Gad Mohsen, M. (2019), “Managing customer-to-customer interaction (CCI) – insights from the frontline”, Journal of Services Marketing, 31 (7), pp. 798-814.
  • Nicholls, R. and Kay, A. (2019), “Understanding the Scope of In-Store C2C Influence in Retailing”, Proceedings of Academy of Marketing 2019 Annual Conference, London, UK.
  • Rasoolimanesh, S. M., Valaei, N., & Rezaei, S. (2023). Guideline for Application of fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) in Tourism and Hospitality Studies. In Cutting Edge Research Methods in Hospitality and Tourism (pp. 137-156). Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Shahijan, M.K., Rezaei, S. and Amin, M. (2018), “Qualities of effective cruise marketing strategy: Cruisers’ experience, service convenience, values, satisfaction and revisit intention”, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 35 (10), pp. 2304-2327.
  • Teichert, T., Rezaei, S. and Correa, J.C. (2020), “Customers’ experiences of fast food delivery services: uncovering the semantic core benefits, actual and augmented product by text mining”, British Food Journal. ISSN 0007-070X (In Press)
  • Wiid, R. and Mora-Avila, P. (2017), “Arts marketing framework: The arts organisation as a hub for participation”, Journal of Public Affairs, 18 (2), e1657.
  • Wiid, R., Grant, P. S., Mills, A. J., and Pitt, L. F. (2016), “No joke: Understanding public sentiment toward selling and salespeople through cartoon analysis”, Marketing Theory, 16 (2), pp 171-193.
  • Wiid, R., Hurley, P., Mora-Avila, Paulo and Salmon, J. (2019), “Organisation-led Engagement with Consumers in Hidden Social Spaces”, Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing, 7 (1), pp. 53-67.
  • Wiid, R., Müllern, T., & Berndt, A. (2023). The face of nonbinary beauty communication on Instagram: a content analysis. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 44(1), 1-23.


Information for prospective PhD students

We welcome proposals from prospective students with interests in any areas aligned to our theme.   Please see the research school pages for details on how to apply.  Topics may include:

  • Customer-to-customer interactions
  • Customer experience
  • Customer retention
  • Corporate reputation
  • Cross-cultural consumer Interactions
  • Interactive and digital marketing
  • Marketing communications and branding
  • Refugee entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable consumption


For more information about this theme, please contact Dr Richard Nicholls.