Sales force automation (SFA) is increasingly used to support customer relationships, and provides a good example of technology application on the supplier‐customer interface. While research has begun to examine SFA, understanding it from the customer viewpoint is still vague. This paper reports results of exploratory qualitative research to investigate perceptions of SFA among both salespeople and their customers in the insurance industry in Thailand. Results suggest that customers want technology to be integrated into interpersonal relationships, not to replace them. Most customers, even those with extensive IT background, are not willing to interact with technology‐based self service only. Much of the relationship with the company comes from trust in the salesperson, which is built up through the development of the relationship. This is probably more important in the relationship‐based cultures of Asia, which are strongly familiar with interpersonal service.
Larpsiri, R. and Speece, M. (2004), "Technology integration: Perceptions of sales force automation in Thailand's life assurance industry", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 392-406. https://doi.org/10.1108/02634500410542752Download as .RIS
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