Modeling Customer Reactions to Congestion in Competitive Service Facilities

196

4. Conclusions and Future Research

In this paper we have considered customers' patronizing

behavior in a competitive market. It has been concluded

that the better approach for formulating customers’ cho-

ice behavior in spatial competitive modeling is a prob-

abilistic model based on three variables, distance, waiting

time and price. With emphasis on congestion effects, we

have also studied customers’ reactions to congested fac-

ilities. These are especially balking, reneging and veering.

This is the first paper considering congestion-sensitivity

reactions in competitive congested systems and the first

work studying veering as a usual event in congested sys-

tems. By veering we mean the case in which after a cus-

tomer balked or reneged from a facility, he/she may de-

cide to patronize another facility rather than coming back

to his/her origin.

Although the prevailing approach in the literature as-

sumes that customers take congestion into account at

their origins, it has been claimed that they initially don’t

know a lot about facilities’ congestion level. Our pro-

posed approaches retain customers unaware until they

reach at the facilities. The first approach assumes that

customers amend their future decisions according to the

waiting time faced by them at the previous experiences.

The four other approaches assume that customers react to

the congestion when they reach at the facilities. They

may balk, renege, veer or divulge a combination of them.

An illustrative example has also given to demonstrate

differences between the outcomes of proposed ap-

proaches. We have seen that congestion-sensitivity of

customers has a considerable effect on the firms’ market

share. Therefore, a much attention must be paid for for-

mulating the congestion-sensitivity of customers in spa-

tial planning models.

We have tried to study all possible reactions to the

congestion. However, a special type of queues has been

considered. It will be interesting to study other types of

queuing systems.

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