Why has the service factory model failed to live up to its original promise? To answer this question, we start with a basic concept: service is doing the work of your customer. As a result, it requires a high level of contact, communication and coordination with your customers. To deliver truly excellent service, therefore, requires a level of customer intimacy. That is, a service provider needs to know individual customers being served in order to deliver service that, in addition to being efficient, is also personal and effective in fulfilling their total service requirements. Ignore these intimacy elements of your service work and you lose much of its potential value.
Kolesar, Peter, Garrett van Ryzin, and Wayne Cutler. "Creating Customer Value through Industrialized Intimacy." strategy + business 12 (July 1998): 33-43.
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