The balanced service encounter
More and more companies are introducing self-service technology (such as virtual on-line assistants) for customers in an attempt to increase the customers’ different service options but also to decrease the companies’ costs by reducing personnel that serve customers. There are however advantages with inter-personal contacts. Customers’ evaluations of the service are to a large extent based the encounters they have with service personnel. This project aims to develop knowledge about how a balance between self-service and inter-personal contacts can be reached. The project is multi-disciplinary with competence from different research areas such as marking, informatics and linguistics. The project is carried out in co-operation with SAS. The qualitative research methods used are interviews, observations and registrations of interactions between customers and virtual on-line assistants and between customers and customer service representatives.