Article

Impact of Technology-Based Self-Service on Employees, Customers, and Sales in the Korean Services Market

Authors:
  • Gyeonggi Institute of Science & Technology Promotion
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Abstract

For service providers, efficient production and delivery is becoming increasingly important. If customers can play the role of partial employees when participating in the service production and delivery, service providers can reduce the workload and achieve higher productivity. This study’s purpose is to investigate the impact of technology-based self-service (TBSS) which is designed for improvement of operational efficiency of service organizations on employees, customers, and sales, especially focused on South Korea’s service market. In-depth interviews with managers of large service providers and a questionnaire survey of employees were used as the research method. Our findings indicate that technology-based self-service positively influences employee satisfaction, but it provides disadvantages in sales, and in customer satisfaction when the services fail. Moreover, some interesting results were identified. We present the details of the statistical results and the implications found from the study.

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... In fact, for many complex services the customer can be viewed as a partial employee and is an essential part of the service delivery process (Lovelock & Young, 1979). Furthermore, according to Lee, Kim, and Yoo (2009), by increasing customer participation, service providers can increase service satisfaction and mitigate the risks brought about due to a lack of customer knowledge and skills regarding the service delivery process, which is more likely to occur for complex services. From a psychological perspective, customers tend to give additional value to those services for which they have been a part of the delivery process (Norton, Frost, & Ariely, 2007). ...
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This paper provides an overview of literature on the employment shift towards services. It follows the three dimensions of structural change: inter-industry productivity differences, the inter-industry division of labor (outsourcing), and shifts in final demand. It concludes that the third dimension gained importance over the last decades although differential productivity growth continued to contribute to the rise of service employment as well. Outsourcing of service tasks from manufacturing industries increased but cannot explain much of the rise in service-industry employment over time. The shift to services is not just a price effect nor is it mainly the effect of the outsourcing of service activities from manufacturing industries. The shift to services is real.
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The introduction of self-service on Amsterdam's trams around 1970 meant replacement of conductors with several kinds of machines—and the emergence of fare dodging by passengers. To remedy the weaknesses of the technology, the Amsterdam Transport Company, its customers, and the city council found themselves involved in the politics of innovation. The democratic content of these politics is examined using insights from both political philosophy and actor network theory. The case shows that in most of the issues in the case, the circumstances impinged on a sense of justice for the company, or its customers, or interest groups, while posing a political problem for the city council. However, other issues were barely treated according to democratic principles, due to different modes of depoliticization.
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The service sector is a growing part of the economy in many countries. To be able to survive in this sector, it is necessary to offer the market services that are perceived as having quality. Interviews with both providers and customer stated the importance of cooperation between the two parties. The perspective on cooperation in this article was from the providers' side. The question was, “What characteristics should a customer have?” An aggregation of the different answers to this question by Swedish architects suggested a customer that has good knowledge and relates well with the professional service provider was the best.
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The authors conducted an extensive review of literature to see if there was evidence indicating there are differences in the management of services and manufacturing organizations. The literature identified differences that related to measurements used to assess effectiveness and efficiency, differences in production strategies and differences in production processes between organizations producing tangible goods and those producing intangible services. The results of the review indicate that there are a number of important and defendable differences between managing a manufacturing firm and a service. The authors also provide tables summarizing the differences and provide research implication for each difference. The review serves as a foundation for future academic efforts to better understand the unique challenges of managing organizations in the services sector.