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The new age of customer impatience: An agenda for reawakening logistics customer service research

Patricia J. Daugherty (Department of Supply Chain Management, Iowa State University College of Business, Ames, Iowa, USA)
Yemisi Bolumole (Department of Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Scott J. Grawe (Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 17 August 2018

Issue publication date: 8 February 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the body of logistics customer service (LCS) research published in leading logistics journals from 1990 to 2017. Specifically, the paper presents a call to arms for logistics and supply chain researchers to address new and emerging issues impacting customer service in the age of omnichannel and e-commerce retailing.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed academic journals to identify articles focusing on LCS from 1990 through 2017. The authors noted trends in academic research activity/focus and supplemented the findings by examining more recent trends covered in trade publication articles.

Findings

The authors observed a large amount of LCS research in the early 1990s and 2000s, but noticed a substantial decline in coverage within academic journals since the late 2000s while industry continues to give customer service issues even greater attention. The difference between the level of coverage within academic journals and the increased importance firms place on customer service represents a critical gap and opportunity for scholars. This research represents a “call to arms” to address this gap. With particular emphasis on observed customer impatience and escalating requests, within omni- and e-commerce channels of distribution, we suggest greater theoretical insights into customer service strategies and their role in successfully navigating today’s changing logistics service environment are needed.

Originality/value

The review serves as a call for more attention to customer service issues within leading logistics journals. Suggestions for research into new and emerging topics are offered.

Keywords

Citation

Daugherty, P.J., Bolumole, Y. and Grawe, S.J. (2019), "The new age of customer impatience: An agenda for reawakening logistics customer service research", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 4-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-03-2018-0143

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited