Online Self-Services: Investigating the Stages of Customer-SST Systems Interaction

Online Self-Services: Investigating the Stages of Customer-SST Systems Interaction

Calin Gurau (GSCM – Montpellier Business School, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-607-7.ch005
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Abstract

The introduction of self-service applications by online service providers provided an effective solution to the lack of direct personal contact over the Internet, and offered a quick way to expand business operations. However, the success of this customer empowerment method is influenced by the capacity of various clients to use and adopt self service technology. Despite the interest raised by this topic within academic and practitioners communities, the factors that determine the adoption of online self-service applications are still a matter of debate. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis, this study attempts to identify the main phases of customer-system interaction, as well as the quality dimensions perceived as important by SST users in each particular phase. The findings reinforce the interpretation of SST adoption as a gradual process of learning that presents different challenges for various types of customers depending on their level of online experience.
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Theoretical Background

Customer empowerment through self-service technology is a new, but fertile field of studies. Previous research on this topic can be categorised into four main streams:

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