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25 June 2019 AT 02:00 P.M.
ESCP – Campus République – Room 4310

Marion SANGLE-FERRIERE,PhD candidate in the PhD programme ESCP, will publicly defend her PhD thesis in Management Sciences.
Thesis Title:
When customers avoid assistance seeking Assistance seeking avoidance and the effects of chat as an assistance channel.



  • Prof. Benjamin VOYER,


  • Pr. Véronique Des Garets,
    Professor HDR, IAE- Université de Tours
  • Pr. Jean-François LEMOINE,
    Professor des Universités, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne


  • Pr. Valérie GUILLARD,
    Professor des Universités, Université Paris Dauphine
  • Pr. Pierre-Charles PRADIER,
    Senior Lecturer, HDR, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Pr. Jean-François LEMOINE,
    University Professor, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne


Consumers are facing more and more complex processes and technologies in their daily consumption, however they often refrain from asking for help.

The aim of this research is to better understand the reasons why consumers may – or not - request assistance from a service or product provider, and also to understand if and how chat may ease this assistance request. A qualitative exploratory fieldwork led us to identify the perceived threats that are associated with an assistance request. It also highlighted how chat may alleviate these threats. The anonymous nature of chat, however, casts doubts about the interlocutor’s nature (human or virtual), which, in return, mitigates the positive alleviating effects of chat. As the factors explaining assistance avoidance appear to be of attitudinal nature, we then define and measure the construct of “customer propensity to avoid assistance request”. This construct is then empirically tested, to assess the extent to which an assistance request is linked to a customer’s attitude towards assistance. Finally, we offer a typology suggesting that some consumers may be averse to requesting assistance, and may be more willing to do so by chat. Altogether, these results contribute to helping companies to improve their offer of customer assistance, especially by offering chat, thus helping a larger amount of customers to benefit from a full usage of their products and services.


Organiser: ESCP

Paris - France



Start date: 25/06/2019

Start time: 2:00 PM

End time: 6:00 PM