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Guest editorial

Guest editorial High tech and high touch: the future of human service Over the last decade, the nature of services has rapidly evolved as technological advancements have become embedded in the service experience (Garry and Harwood, 2019; Bolton et al., 2018; Van Doorn et al., 2017). Service customers can be greeted in a physical servicescape by robots (Lu et al., 2020), digitally assisted by chatbots (Sangle-Ferriere and Voyer, 2019) and robo-advisors (Wexler and Oberlander, 2021), use supportive digital tools (Bocking et al., 2021) or be attended by human service agents (Volkers, 2021). Service encounters now encompass “any customer-company interaction that results from a service system that is comprised of interrelated technologies (either company-or customer- owned), human actors (employees and customers), physical/digital environments and company/customer processes” (Lariviere et al., 2017,p.239). In this special issue of the Journal of Service Theory and Practice, we consider the nexus of high tech/high touch and its contribution to optimising the customer experience. When technology and customer experience converge, a range of opportunities and challenges present themselves. Ostrom et al. (2021) identified that connections, actor roles and context matter deeply to the customer experience when technology is embedded. Leveraging technology for service consumption can result in unintended http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Service Theory and Practice Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2055-6225
DOI
10.1108/jstp-01-2022-318
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

High tech and high touch: the future of human service Over the last decade, the nature of services has rapidly evolved as technological advancements have become embedded in the service experience (Garry and Harwood, 2019; Bolton et al., 2018; Van Doorn et al., 2017). Service customers can be greeted in a physical servicescape by robots (Lu et al., 2020), digitally assisted by chatbots (Sangle-Ferriere and Voyer, 2019) and robo-advisors (Wexler and Oberlander, 2021), use supportive digital tools (Bocking et al., 2021) or be attended by human service agents (Volkers, 2021). Service encounters now encompass “any customer-company interaction that results from a service system that is comprised of interrelated technologies (either company-or customer- owned), human actors (employees and customers), physical/digital environments and company/customer processes” (Lariviere et al., 2017,p.239). In this special issue of the Journal of Service Theory and Practice, we consider the nexus of high tech/high touch and its contribution to optimising the customer experience. When technology and customer experience converge, a range of opportunities and challenges present themselves. Ostrom et al. (2021) identified that connections, actor roles and context matter deeply to the customer experience when technology is embedded. Leveraging technology for service consumption can result in unintended

Journal

Journal of Service Theory and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 13, 2022

References