Must Reads 20132014-02-18
The journal article “Relationship Characteristics and Cash Flow Variability: Implications for Satisfaction, Loyalty and Customer Portfolio Management” by Crina Tarasi, Ruth Bolton, Anders Gustafsson, and Beth Walker, Journal of Service Research, May, is one of MSI's "Must Reads" from 2013.
"Just as in finance, reducing the volatility of customer cash flows can improve overall marketing performance. Why? Because cash flow volatility – “big swings” up and down – wreak havoc on marketing and operations budgets. This article explores the factors that influence the variation in customer cash flows and identifies specific managerial actions to reduce such variability without reducing overall customer profitability. This is important for any firm that has ongoing relationships with customers, regardless of industry."
Professor Katherine Lemon for MSI
Users typically perceive smart interactive services as risky. This is because the service provided is not directly observable. To overcome such customer reticence, providers need to gain customer trust. How? What’s needed is a competent and benevolent approach that gives customers more control and more information. For example, for remote service monitoring or repairs, giving the customer the ability to track and to document provider actions, or the ability to directly observe provider actions (e.g., via video-monitoring) builds confidence in these often “behind the scenes” service experiences.
In addition, as the “high-touch” aspect of providing service decreases in these smart-interactive service settings, other high-touch interactions become more important, such as personal meetings or even phone calls.
Customers need to feel in control—some type of “emergency feature” to disconnect the smart service gives customers this level of control.
The smart interactive service experience should be personalized as much as possible to increase trust and to raise the social presence/aspects of the encounter.
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