Roland T. Rust and P. K. Kannan
2002, M.E. Sharpe
The two most important long-term trends in the business world are the shifting of the economy from goods to services, and the rapid expansion of the information economy and electronic networks. These two trends converge in the concept of E-Service, which is the provision of service over electronic networks such as the Internet.
This opportunity has generated significant interest in both practitioner and academic communities in understanding how the Internet and the network environment can be harnessed in providing "E-Service". Thus, we have private sector companies investing in IT infrastructure to build e-CRM (electronic-Customer Relationship Management) systems, one-on-one marketing systems, apply data mining tools to understand their customers better and provide focused service; in the public sector, organizations and agencies are rapidly setting up "e-Government" systems to provide service to citizens; while in the academic community there is an increased interest in understanding how "E-Service" impacts consumer behavior â€“ their loyalty behavior, and their expectations about price, quality and service attributes â€“ and how this knowledge can be used to design better framework and systems for service provision.
Given the interest in E-Service and the simultaneous, albeit fractured, developments in the various sectors, it is understandable that many definitions and perspectives have emerged regarding "E-Service". Some private sector companies view "E-Service" narrowly as information services, while IT organizations such as Hewlett-Packard have been making "E-Service" as their marketing theme in order to move away from product-centered focus to a service-centered focus. In some government agencies, "E-Service" is viewed as a means of holding government accountable to its citizens. Other IT companies, such as Microstrategy, for example, view "E-Service" as a purely IT driven concept. In the academic community, E-Service is seen as an overarching customer-centric concept (Rust and Lemon, 2000).
"E-Service", edited by Roland Rust and P.K. Kannan, brings together the ideas of the world's leading E-Service writers and managers in a state-of-the-art analysis.