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Does big data analytics influence frontline employees in services marketing?

Saradhi Motamarri (School of Management, Operations and Marketing, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Shahriar Akter (School of Management, Operations and Marketing, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Venkat Yanamandram (School of Management, Operations and Marketing, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)

Business Process Management Journal

ISSN: 1463-7154

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Big data analytics (BDA) helps service providers with customer insights and competitive information. It also empowers customers with insights about the relative merits of competing services. The purpose of this paper is to address the research question, “How does big data analytics enable frontline employees (FLEs) in effective service delivery?”

Design/methodology/approach

The research develops schemas to visualise service contexts that potentially benefit from BDA, based on the literature drawn from BDA and FLEs streams.

Findings

The business drivers for BDA and its level of maturity vary across firms. The primary thrust for BDA is to gain customer insights, resource optimisation and efficient operations. Innovative FLEs operating in knowledge intensive and customisable settings may realise greater value co-creation.

Practical implications

There exists a considerable knowledge gap in enabling the FLEs with BDA tools. Managers need to train, orient and empower FLEs to collaborate and create value with customer interactions. Service-dominant logic posits that skill asymmetry is the reason for service. So, providers need to enhance skill levels of FLEs continually. Providers also need to focus on market sensing and customer linking abilities of FLEs.

Social implications

Both firms and customers need to be aware of privacy and ethical concerns associated with BDA.

Originality/value

Knitting the BDA and FLEs research streams, the paper analyses the impact of BDA on service. The research by developing service typology portrays its interplay with the typologies of FLEs and BDA. The framework portrays the service contexts in which BD has major impact. Looking further into the future, the discussion raises prominent questions for the discipline.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported through a scholarship under Australian Government’s Research Training Program.

Citation

Motamarri, S., Akter, S. and Yanamandram, V. (2017), "Does big data analytics influence frontline employees in services marketing?", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 623-644. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-12-2015-0182

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited