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Article
Publication date: 17 March 2020

Scott E. Sampson and Richard B. Chase

The customer contact approach to service has been at the core of service theory since the 1970s. It suggests that the potential operating efficiency of a service is…

1033

Abstract

Purpose

The customer contact approach to service has been at the core of service theory since the 1970s. It suggests that the potential operating efficiency of a service is inversely related to the extent of customer contact with the provider's operations and that various service design issues are dictated by the presence or absence of customer contact. The purpose of this article is to reevaluate the customer contact approach in light of advanced digital technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review the origins and history of the customer contact approach and show ways it has been refined in research literature. From that they demonstrate how the refined approach can be applied to contemporary conditions.

Findings

Recent advances in digital technologies have indeed required us to revise our conceptualization of customer contact. There is now a blurring between front-office and back-office operations. Emerging technologies are allowing customers to have high-contact experiences with low-contact efficiencies.

Research limitations/implications

Going forward, conceptualizations of customer contact are becoming increasingly complex and requiring increasingly complex models. Armed with self-service technologies, customers are able to permeate the “buffered core” of service businesses. Artificial intelligence and anthropomorphic devices have further blurred the distinction between front-office and back-office operations. Research will need to consider new forms of technology-enabled customer contact.

Practical implications

Customer contact is no longer limited to interpersonal interactions and the relationships between service providers and customers are increasingly complex. Customers may interact with automated service providers, or service providers may interact with customer technologies. New forms of customer contact may not involve humans at all, but instead involve technologies interacting with technologies.

Originality/value

The customer contact approach to service was one of the original models of service design. By revisiting and revising the model we bring it in-line with the realities of the contemporary service economy.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Naresh K. Malhotra

Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-723-0

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1991

Richard B. Chase

The “service factory” has been proposed as a newapproach to manufacturing strategy. The information, problem‐solving,sales and support dimensions which underlie a service…

1531

Abstract

The “service factory” has been proposed as a new approach to manufacturing strategy. The information, problem‐solving, sales and support dimensions which underlie a service factory are reviewed. A strategic planning methodology by which it can be applied is provided, and five research questions which might be addressed through empirical study are raised.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1998

Richard B. Chase and Alex Zhang

Looks at operations management with a particular focus on the west coast of the USA. Considers two aspects: the first being curriculum development and the second relating…

4429

Abstract

Looks at operations management with a particular focus on the west coast of the USA. Considers two aspects: the first being curriculum development and the second relating to teaching and research. Gives a detailed view of the type of courses offered in the field. Also gives details of research being conducted in the area.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Richard B. Chase

Current approaches to service design and service quality have provided second order principles that fail to account for underlying cognitive processes of customers in…

3614

Abstract

Current approaches to service design and service quality have provided second order principles that fail to account for underlying cognitive processes of customers in service encounters. It is proposed that behavioral science research should be used to address this shortcoming, and five “first order” principles are presented based upon a review of the behavioral science literature.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-723-0

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Anton Meyer, Richard Chase, Aleda Roth, Chris Voss, Klaus‐Ulrich Sperl, Larry Menor and Kate Blackmon

This paper provides a cross‐country examination of service management practice and performance of service organizations in the UK, USA and Germany. The findings reported…

3551

Abstract

This paper provides a cross‐country examination of service management practice and performance of service organizations in the UK, USA and Germany. The findings reported are based on a sample of firms from the international service study (ISS) from four service sectors: financial services, professional services, hotels, and utilities. The paper argues that generally there are differences in services management practices and performance and, more specifically, that service quality performance may be explained by the nature and market dynamics of the service sector within the individual countries.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Consider these accolades: 14 properties in the Top 100 World’s Best Hotels; award for the first ever AAA five‐diamond rating; top honors award from Travel + Leisure every…

5136

Abstract

Consider these accolades: 14 properties in the Top 100 World’s Best Hotels; award for the first ever AAA five‐diamond rating; top honors award from Travel + Leisure every year since 1997; and most important of all, clear leader from 16,000 travelers’ votes for the hotel chain with the best service. Obviously, when the Ritz‐Carlton hotel company says “We sell service” it is more than just a catchy sound bite. In fact, selling service is something that every member of the organization’s work force takes very seriously indeed. As a result, Ritz‐Carlton is the only company in the service category to have won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice. Unsurprisingly, customers come back.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 20 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 October 2014

Richard B. Chase and Sriram Dasu

In their seminal book, The Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore point out that customers buy experiences and are willing to pay a steep premium for them and hence service…

1595

Abstract

Purpose

In their seminal book, The Experience Economy, Pine and Gilmore point out that customers buy experiences and are willing to pay a steep premium for them and hence service organizations should try to make them more fun. The purpose of this paper (and the premise of the recent book) is that services can be redesigned using psychological principles to deliver positive experiences for any kind of service, not just those that lend themselves to fun; by definition, satisfaction with a subconscious aspect of a service cannot be explained by the customer; and the psychological aspects of service interactions have to be approached with the same level of rigor as that are used to design processes that deliver the technical features of the service.

Design/methodology/approach

A point of view on the gap and opportunities in the field.

Findings

The authors show that there is an opportunity to extend the service operations field.

Practical implications

Enables managers and researchers to think about new approaches for designing experiences.

Social implications

Valuable in a number of areas including healthcare.

Originality/value

Presents a new point of view.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

L.W. Turley and Douglas L. Fugate

Notes how service encounters have tended to be viewed as aninteraction between service providers and service customers. Examinessituations where the main encounter is the…

Abstract

Notes how service encounters have tended to be viewed as an interaction between service providers and service customers. Examines situations where the main encounter is the interaction between the facility and the customer. Considers different perspectives for planning service facilities – operational, locational, atmospheric/image, consumer use, contact personnel. Argues that congruent facilities are those that can succeed in integrating these competing perspectives.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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