Technology plays a major role in Service Delivery, especially in todays world! There could be various scenarios in which technology plays different roles depending on the nature of the business and business requirements. Below is a image that depicts the role of technology in service encounter between customer – service provider.
Based on the scenarios, we can classify roles as the below:
1. Technology Free Service Encounter: In this form, there is no involvement of technology in the whole service delivery process. A good example is a manual, old school style ticket counter. Here the ticket is manually torn and given to the customer and money is collected, no involvement of technology at all.
2. Technology Assisted Service Encounter: This is the second type with minimal involvement of technology in service delivery. Here the employee from the organisation side takes help of technology to deliver. The customer is however no where dependent on technology. A good example is modern movie ticket counter, where the employee checks the details on his computer and gives the customer a ticket.
3. Technology Facilitated Service Encounter: In this scenario, the technology facilitates the business delivery. Please note that this is a tricky one! Internet banking is a good example for this type of service encounter.
4. Technology Mediated Service Encounter: In this scenario both the customer and server use technology for their business activity but there is no direct involvement between the server and customer.
5. Technology Generated Service Encounter: In this format there is no prescense of the server! That means technology does it all for the customer. A good example of this is an ATM machine where the customer interacts with the machine and his service is delivered.
Basically, we need to understand the role that technology plays in the business model / business operation. The easiest method to understand and remember the various relationship are to simply understand the box diagram shown above with the relationship and role of technology in each scenario.