Re-conceptualising the professional service encounter: information empowered consumers and service relationships

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Abstract:

The service encounter is a central construct in services marketing theory. Conventionally the service encounter has been presented as a dyadic process of interaction between the consumer and the service provider. The paper argues that within an increasingly information and communication rich environment such a conceptualisation is no longer valid. Rather it is necessary to set the service encounter within a broader network of interactions with other service providers and consumers in which the consumer may engage while utilising a given service. Such parallel consumer interactions increasingly occur within the virtual environment of the Internet. The emergence of these "virtual parallel service encounters" has significant implications for the management of the primary service encounter and the marketing of professional services more generally

Keywords: CONSUMERS; INFORMATION; INTERNET; SERVICE ENCOUNTER

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539208X386860

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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