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Thirty years after developing the well-known SERVQUAL scale, the author revisits the original framework in light of the growing role of technology in service delivery. As more and more people turn to the Internet to purchase goods and services, he and his colleagues have recognized the need to adapt the SERVQUAL framework to the realities of the online experience; specifically, to measure the extent to which a website facilitates efficient and effective shopping, purchasing and delivery, with the aim of improving the service quality of websites. This has led to the development of e-SERVQUAL, as well as the technology readiness index to segment customers. As many enterprises move into new sales formats, such as integrating online and brick-and-mortar retail services, they would do well to find out what customers really value. Many companies, the author feels, are tapping into new technologies only insofar as to cut costs or collect huge amounts of customer data, which they tend to dump into storage. This article shows how tried-and-tested assessment tools can help give your firm's service efforts much-needed direction and focus in this age of big data.
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