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Developments in the Built Environment




The home improvement service industry is growing rapidly, and the advancement in technology has made information about service providers, such as customer reviews, accessible with a few clicks. However, the impact of anecdotal information, like reviews and a service provider's response to a review, have not been studied extensively in the home improvement service industry. Using the Data Frame Theory of Sensemaking, this study investigated the combined effect of these two variables on an online consumer's decision. We recruited 360 participants through Qualtrics Research Services to participate in a 4∗3 between-subjects study. The findings suggest that when all reviews were either entirely positive or negative, i.e., consistent information, the service provider's response did not influence the customer's decision. However, when the reviews were inconsistent, the service provider's response was influential. In addition, negative reviews created a lack of trust in the information, which is a potential area for future research.



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