• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Identify and evaluate the impact of information and communications technology in one marketing function" - Customer Service

Extracts from this document...


"Identify and evaluate the impact of information and communications technology in one marketing function" - Customer Service Introduction The rapid growth of information and communications technology (ICT) in the last two decades has affected business organisations profoundly. The shift from production-centric to customer-centric organisations has lead to increased focus on customer service and the use of technology in the area. This essay sets out to identify the impacts of ICT on customer service by first briefly revisiting the concept of customer service. The benefits of ICT are then highlighted by three main drivers of service encounter satisfaction, along with some industry examples. Finally a discussion is raised with regards to potential problems and challenges organizations face in successful implementation of the technology. Customer Service Revisited The major characteristics of services have been summarised by Lewis (1989, pp.4) as "intangibility, heterogeneity, perishability and inseparability of production and consumption"- where "production" in services refer to "performance". Due to the inseparability of production and consumption, both buyer and seller (i.e. customer and organisation/employee) interactions influences the performance process and the quality of the service provided (Lewis, 1989). The service encounter, according to Lewis (1989, pp.4), is the "direct interaction between... [an]...organisation's employees and its customers / clients". From the customer's point of perspective, the encounter itself is often the service in most situations (Bitner, 1990), cited in (Bitner, Brown & Meuter, 2000). ...read more.


Customers are also given customised suggestions or advice in the form of recommendations based on their purchase history. FedEx, the shipping company, also provides its customers with SST opportunities. From order-taking to tracking and billing, every stage of the shipping process can be completed online (Bitner et al., 2000). The advantages are obvious: the SSTs can be accessed and transactions completed at anytime and anywhere the customers desire (Bitner et al., 2000), as these SSTs represent a "store that never closes" (Ritzer & Stillman, 2001). Effective Service Recovery Even with improved delivery and offerings, service encounters will never be totally successful (Bitner et al., 2000; Brown, 1997). Brown (1997) suggests that recovering from service failures, if conducted properly, strengthens customer loyalty, improves profitability and corrects weak links in processes. However, if the recovery is poorly handled, it can damage customer relationships, negative word of mouth, contribute to employee dissatisfaction and lowered profits. Studies by Johnson (1995) cited in (Bitner et al., 2000) have shown that successful service recoveries can lead directly to customer satisfaction, which in turn acts to retain the customer. Brown (1997) claims that the use of technology in service recovery can empower employees and customers. Technology can often provide frontline employees with the means to recover on the customers' behalf quicker, and often with fewer colleagues involved. ...read more.


With new technology emerging everyday, there is a need for organisations to constantly train employees, especially those with service responsibilities, to upgrade their IT skills. Technical literacy of frontline employees is crucial to ensure smooth usage of software applications. Companies also need to understand the current technology landscape in context of their industry to be able to choose the most appropriate technology tools to meet challenges. All of these activities may result in a big strain on funds. Services performed over the Internet may also be subjected to risks of hackers hijacking and stealing sensitive material. The Internet's greatest openness and ubiquity are also its greatest weaknesses. Companies need to assure customers that safety measures are in place before customers will feel ready to perform online transactions. The success of technology is therefore, also heavily dependent on user acceptance. According to Parasuraman, (2004), the "techno-readiness" of consumers refers to the measure of mental readiness to embrace technology. Without a proper understanding of the techno-readiness of its customer base, companies may just find themselves investing heavily in facilities that may be under-utilised. Conclusion This essay has shown why organisations need to focus on customer service as a source of competitive advantage, and technology is one of the major determinants in improving service quality. From the impacts identified, the integration and implementation of technology in customer service areas of a business are massively beneficial. Yet at the same time, organisations should be aware of the consequences that the lack of proper management of ICT can have. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Electronic Media Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Electronic Media Studies essays

  1. Research Proposal on Database Usability Issues

    But according to (Preece, J. Rogers, Y. Sharp, H. Benyon, D. Holland, S. & Carey, T. 1994) "A decade ago, when our understanding of HCI was more limited, many systems developers might have felt that good intentions were the major requirement for producing an effective HCI design."

  2. This essay will review the impact of computers on our society from a sociological ...

    For all the positive practical uses for computers in the home there are clearly some areas of concern and potential danger. Chat rooms have become potential grooming grounds for paedophiles with unsuspecting children. In response to this problem Bill Gates' Microsoft Corporation took the radical decision earlier this year to close all of its chat rooms.

  1. What is an Information System/Information Technology?

    * Any telecommunications and/or computer related equipment or interconnected system or subsystems of equipment that is used in the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of voice and/or data, and includes software, firmware, and hardware.

  2. What are the Values of Web 2.0 Technologies to a Student of Media and ...

    written about a topic that relates to their area of interest, as tagging creates more fluent pathways. Technorati, an RSS and blog search engine, uses tags to a great degree, as does del.icio.us, a site for tagging other websites. This could be useful to a student of media and communications

  1. E-commerce change management

    The conclusion of the report is that company A had problems to manage imperfections and to keep up with the need for development of their software delivery process. Focusing on these problems and on the report recommended is that this company first should increase efficiency in their company.

  2. "Does Technology have an essence? Define what this might be and critically assess how ...

    The essence of technology contains the extreme danger to humankind by threatening the loss of what is most essentially human, our capacity for new revealings. The process of 'enframing' seeks to make everything more accessible for utilization for our objectives, and it motivates us to create the artificial boundaries that divide land into different communities and societies.

  1. Information technology and its impact on Portugese society

    The next conclusion on Winner's view is that this integration of technology on every one's lives has made it as much a cultural phenomena as anything else. This Winner's view, that Technology is more social than physical leads us

  2. Addressing the legal and ethical issues of electronic commerce.

    Through this success, Britain's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) is now providing filtering technology to police forces across Eastern Europe and South East Asia in a move to co-ordinate the fight against Internet child abuse online activity. By blocking unsuitable sites, in addition to strengthening police power at the back-end, we can provide a double-pronged attack on child internet abuse.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work