Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Creating Localized Customer Service through Digital Technologies

Digital technologies are an important development in service management.  The paper by Setia et. al (2013) discusses how digital technologies can create higher customer-oriented businesses in localized markets. They focus on two customer service capabilities such as customer orientation capability and customer response capability. To gather their results they used 170 branches of a large Indian bank.

Because the modern market requires a more rapid pace of innovation, shorter product cycles, adjusting customer needs and international commerce there is a need for companies to differentiate themselves based upon better customer service.  Through strong customer oriented strategies and responses they are better able to align their operations to local customer needs.

The goal is to create stronger business outcomes that raise customer retention, lower operational costs, and increase market impact. To do this well requires collecting the right information and using that information to improve upon corporate strategy. How that information is collected and processed will determine the digital design and information quality.

There are four characteristics of information quality:

1.) Completeness that provides enough useful information to impact employee performance.
2.) Accuracy that the information is correct.
3.) Format that presents the information for useful purposes.
4.) Currency that represents the newness of information.

The researchers found that the information quality influences customer service capabilities.  There is need for a fundamental shift from resource acquisition to capability building platforms. The use of proper data collection and usage can create better methods of localizing services for greater impact. Decision makers will need to turn this information into human action that raises customer service perceptions and performance.

Setia, P., et. al. (2013). Leveraging digital technologies: how information quality leads to localized capabilities and customer service performance. MIS Quarterly, 37 (2).

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