Many leading firms across Europe are harnessing information technology to cultivate customer service as a valuable asset to achieve strategic superiority. The key findings of this IT/customer service adoption study emphasize three main points. First information technology acts as an enabling tool in achieving customer service advantages in three ways: clerical effectiveness/automation; operational efficiency; and/or information generation and strategic effectiveness or transformation. Second, customer service is being nurtured as a valuable asset in differentiating products in one or more of four forms: distribution, transaction, relationship and/or strategic. Third, there is a direct positive correlation between the exploitation of IT in customer service and the degree of information orientation. The conclusion presents a model of this adoption process of IT in customer service. These findings reflect “leading” business practice in the use of IT in customer service.
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