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Service Encounters

Service Encounters

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Service Encounters

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  1. Service Encounters • The professional service encounter in the age of the Internet: An exploratory study • Gillian Hogg, Angus Laing, and Dan Winkelman • Erica Alegria

  2. Objective • The use of the internet has changed the traditional way of using professional services (accounting, law services, medical services, etc), because consumers can get so much information about these services by just using their computer. • The research aims understand the effect of the internet on consumer behavior in health care beyond the accounts reported in medical journals.

  3. Previous Research Articles • The Semantic Web and Healthcare Consumers: a new challenge and opportunity on the horizon? By: Guther Eysenbach • Author states that information on the web can be helpful for decision-making and knowledge for consumers.

  4. Previous Research Articles • Are patients really consumers? By: Michael Keany • Author states that patients should be considered as partners in a continuing process of health care service.

  5. Methodology • In-depth interviews with 20 consumers -10 in the U.S. and 10 in the U.K. • These consumers all had cardio-vascular diseases such as hypertension and other heart conditions. • Cardio-vascular disease was chosen because it is common and there are a lot of treatments available but no consensus as to which are the most effective treatments.

  6. Methodology • And 10 experts: physicians, medical researchers, web site hosts and managers • Interviews were conducted face-to-face and online.

  7. Results • Consumers receive information from: • Web-sites • Chat rooms • E-mail discussion groups

  8. Example of Web-Based Info • http://www.webmd.com/ • Slogan: Better Information, Better Health

  9. On the web… • Consumers share their personal experiences about a particular health problem and create emotional ties with other consumers. • Emotional ties create credibility and empathy. • These emotional ties are often absent in the primary service encounter.

  10. Results • The role of the professional has shifted from the professional being the pre-eminent provider of information during the primary service encounter to an interpreter of information, for example a patient taking print-outs of medical articles to his/her doctor for review.

  11. Professional’s Point of View • Views are mixed • Some health-care professionals feel they have to re-educate patients, this is very time consuming. • Others feel that patients are encouraged to seek medical attention sooner which result in early detection and treatment of serious illnesses.

  12. Conclusions • Three groups of consumers have been identified: The Passive Consumers -Consumers who are satisfied with current primary service encounter and are not prone to seek out alternative information.

  13. Conclusions The Active Consumers -Consumers who are not completely satisfied with either information or treatments received. They will seek more information within their health care system.

  14. Conclusions The High-Involvement Consumers -Consumers who are not satisfied at all with information or treatments received. They embrace the internet as a primary medium of communication to find information.

  15. Management Implications • Organizations must realize that many consumers are taking more control over information gathering that was once primarily reserved for the service professional. • Professionals should view their consumers like “co-producers”