The purpose of this paper is to review research and is to gather conceptual perspectives on the role and nature of e‐service, and the e‐service experience. Recent advances in technology have created a surge in technology‐based self‐service or e‐service, and there is an increasing recognition of its role in differentiation and customer interfaces.
An exploration of the inherent characteristics of technology facilitation of service, including notions of information service and self service, leads to definitions of e‐service and the e‐service experience. The following section explores two differentiators to the service experience: e‐service encounters, elements and episodes; and e‐service's role in the total multi‐channel experience. Finally the growing body of work on e‐service quality is reviewed in pursuit of an understanding of how work on dimensions of e‐service quality informs understanding of the nature of the e‐service experience.
In order to understand e‐service experiences it is necessary to go beyond studies of e‐service quality dimensions and to also take into account the inherent characteristics of e‐service delivery and the factors that differentiate one service experience from another.
The paper reviews the factors that impact on the nature of the e‐service experience, taking a wider perspective than that adopted by many researcher on e‐service when they focus on the identification of the dimensions of e‐service quality. In order to manage the e‐service experience it is important to develop a clear articulation of the nature, boundaries, components and elements of specific e‐service experiences, and to further investigate the interaction between these factors and service quality dimensions.
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