Service encounters are critical in all industries, including those that have not been traditionally defined as service industries. The increasing deployment of technology is altering the essence of service encounters formerly anchored in a "low-tech, high-touch" paradigm. This article explores the changing nature of service, with an emphasis on how encounters can be improved through the effective use of technology. The authors examine the ability of technology to effectively (1) customize service offerings, (2) recover from service failure, and (3) spontaneously delight customers. The infusion of technology is examined as an enabler of both employees and customers in efforts to achieve these three goals. Although the infusion of technology can lead to negative outcomes and may not be embraced by all customers, the focus of this article is on the benefits of thoughtfully managed and effectively implemented technology applications. Past research and industry examples are featured and future research directions and managerial implications are highlighted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics