Exploring the holistic customer experience gestalt through its dimensions: a literature review

Karim Sidaoui, Jamie Burton, Babis Theodoulidis

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Customer experience is a focal topic for academics and practitioners, and has become a broad overarching construct within services and customer oriented research paradigms. However, customer experience research remains fragmented, lacking empirical grounding to its definition. A more complete customer experience definition could be better achieved by studying its component dimensions collectively and empirically. This review attempts to identify studies which contribute to the meaning of customer experience through: (i) consideration of its component dimensions, (ii) analysis of the different conceptualizations of these definitions and (iii) their empirical underpinnings.
Since its conception three decades ago, customer experience has had five main types of dimensions associated to its composition (‘social’, ‘physical’, ‘sensorial’, ‘emotional’, and ‘cognitive’). These define customer experience conceptually but lack significant empirical grounding, motivating this review, and aiming to establish whether we can further refine our understanding of customer experience.
A literature search was conducted pertaining to customer experience and its dimensions analysing the different conceptualizations of its meaning and empirical foundations. Using Scopus, Ebsco, and Google Scholar, journal articles and proceedings were gathered with the following terms and their synonyms: customer experience / engagement and the five dimensions. This work attempts to view customer experience through the lens of its dimensions thus each study was reviewed for its contribution to each dimension. Initial results will be discussed showing the identification of more than five dimensions with a lack of consistency in the terminology used to describe them and a limited number of empirical studies on the dimensions of customer experience, grounded in differing research disciplines.
This review attempts to contribute to customer experience theory by identifying the extent of the empirical foundations of its dimensions. Practically this study will engage customer experience managers and executives by illustrating how they might better address customer experience from a better understanding of its constituent dimensions, and how the latter collectively makes up their customers holistic experience.
This paper opens the door to more research into measuring and truly understanding the customer experience dimensions collectively. Theoretically more studies should consider the psychological roots of all the dimensions and explore the relevance of any additional ones. With advances in data analysis, and the greater understanding of, (i) the definitions of the dimensions of customer experience and (ii) their interaction and overlapping nature; new methodologies could be developed around verified models of the dimensions in order to provide a better understanding of customer experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018
EventFrontiers in Service Conference 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: 5 Sept 20189 Sept 2018


ConferenceFrontiers in Service Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the holistic customer experience gestalt through its dimensions: a literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this