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An analysis of the e-service literature: towards a research agenda

Rowley, Jennifer (2006) An analysis of the e-service literature: towards a research agenda. Internet Research, 16 (3). pp. 339-359. ISSN 1066-2243

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Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review research and is to gather conceptual perspectives on the role and nature of e-service, and the e-service experience. Recent advances in technology have created a surge in technology-based self-service or e-service, and there is an increasing recognition of its role in differentiation and customer interfaces. Design/methodology/approach – An exploration of the inherent characteristics of technology facilitation of service, including notions of information service and self service, leads to definitions of e-service and the e-service experience. The following section explores two differentiators to the service experience: e-service encounters, elements and episodes; and e-service's role in the total multi-channel experience. Finally the growing body of work on e-service quality is reviewed in pursuit of an understanding of how work on dimensions of e-service quality informs understanding of the nature of the e-service experience. Findings – In order to understand e-service experiences it is necessary to go beyond studies of e-service quality dimensions and to also take into account the inherent characteristics of e-service delivery and the factors that differentiate one service experience from another. Originality/value – The paper reviews the factors that impact on the nature of the e-service experience, taking a wider perspective than that adopted by many researcher on e-service when they focus on the identification of the dimensions of e-service quality. In order to manage the e-service experience it is important to develop a clear articulation of the nature, boundaries, components and elements of specific e-service experiences, and to further investigate the interaction between these factors and service quality dimensions.

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