Toward a Theory of IT-Enabled Customer Service Systems

Toward a Theory of IT-Enabled Customer Service Systems

Tsz-Wai Lui (Cornell University, USA) and Gabriele Piccoli (Universita di Sassari, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-969-9.ch120


As the use of customer service as a tool to create customer value and differentiation continues to increase, the set of customer services that surround the product rather than the product alone will increasingly become a source of competitive advantage and one of the most critical core business processes. However, there is a lack of a strong conceptual foundation for a service economy and a lack of theoretical guidance for optimal customer service systems design. In this chapter, the authors review past research around information systems facilitating customer services and identify the technical and social attributes of IT-enabled customer service systems, as well as the functionalities of customer service systems enabled by these attributes. Moreover, given the key role of customers as co-producers of the customer service experience, the authors address the role of customers’ characteristics in IT-enabled customer service systems. Finally, they identify existing research gaps and call for future research in these areas.

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