Mark M. Davis, Bentley University
Joy M. Field, Boston College
Euthemia Stavrulaki, Bentley University
With access to many of the same external resources, service organizations must look internally to how they design their delivery processes to increase customer value. Creating service inventories in the design of the service delivery process appears to provide such an opportunity. We define service inventory as any tangible or intangible operand resource that is transformed by the service provider with or without customer input and is stored prior to the customer’s arrival. The goal of service inventories is to facilitate the steps in the service delivery process thereby creating customer value during the service encounter. Although service inventories can be either physical or digital, we focus primarily on the creation of digital service inventories and how they add value for both the provider and customer. Examples of service inventory include customer billing data and customer purchasing histories, both of which create customer value by simplifying the new order process. We introduce a framework that relates the degree of customer interaction and the degree of service inventory differentiation to operational “stickiness.” The resulting synergy from both increasing the level of customer interaction during the value co-creation process and creating service inventories provides firms with increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
This article appeared in: Davis, M.M., J.M. Field, and E.Stavrulaki (2015). “Using Digital Service Inventories to Create Customer Value,” Service Science, 7(2), 83-99.