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Service‐marketing literature has traditionally built upon the combination of low technology and high interaction between service providers and customers in service…
Service‐marketing literature has traditionally built upon the combination of low technology and high interaction between service providers and customers in service delivery. However, many service organisations have started to utilise high‐tech in their operations. More specifically, they are considering how to make their services available to a wide range of customers with the aid of technology. So far, only few empirically oriented studies on this trend can be found in service literature. In this article the topic is approached on the basis of both services marketing literature and an in‐depth analysis of two case studies. The empirical evidence was gathered from two Finnish financial organisations, an insurance company and a bank, both having utilised technology in their service production and delivery. The consequences of these choices are evaluated and compared with each other. We conclude with a framework for strategic decision making, which ties together the dimensions of service type, technology and encounter. On the basis of our empirical cases, we suggest that there are numerous strategic options between the ends of each continuum of the framework, and in addition to advanced technology, service providers need to pay explicit attention to social aspects. The lesson we learned calls for more customer orientation when planning high‐tech solutions in service operations, and taking a new attitude to segmentation.
The purpose of this article is to elucidate the concept and measurement of productivity in the service sector. The concept of service productivity is divided into quantity…
The purpose of this article is to elucidate the concept and measurement of productivity in the service sector. The concept of service productivity is divided into quantity and quality dimensions, and further into output and input elements. Moreover, the issue of measurement is analysed to show the problems related to the elaborated concept of productivity. The content and measurement of the dimensions of service productivity are illustrated through a case study focusing on the second largest insurance group in Finland. The various elements of quantity and quality dimensions were distinguished in the target firm, but especially the quality elements seem to require more serious attention in the future. The article ends with a plea for more interdisciplinary research between scholars on service productivity.