An Exploratory Study of the Impact of E-Service Process on Online Customer Satisfaction
42 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2006
Date Written: January 2006
Although extensive academic research has examined the dynamics of interpersonal interactions between service providers and customers, much less research has investigated customer service encounters through technological interfaces such as the Web in electronic commerce transactions. Corporate websites have become an important point of contact with customers for many companies. Service has been described as one of the most important attributes for online business to influence traffic and sales. However, more research is needed to understand how web-based technological capabilities of the services affect customer evaluations of service value and how to determine the technological capabilities embedded in the e-service for customer satisfaction. In this paper, we propose viewing the interface between online buyers and sellers through the lens of service management in order to identify and explain possible determinants of online customer satisfaction. A company's website is considered its electronic Service Delivery System (eSDS). We look at this eSDS from its process point of view and examine how an eSDS affects customer satisfaction. Our findings indicate that as the eSDS process improves, a customer's perception of the website's ease of use increases, leading to increased service value and perceived control over the process, which increases customer satisfaction. The research provides evidence that the technological capabilities embedded in the website processes are an important factor in determining service quality and ultimately online customer satisfaction.
Keywords: Web-based technology capabilities, Technology design of e-service process, Online customer satisfaction, Electronic service delivery system
JEL Classification: C12, C50, D12, L86
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