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Process completeness: Strategies for aligning service systems with customers' service needs


  • Piccoli, Gabriele
  • Brohman, M. Kathryn
  • Watson, Richard T.
  • Parasuraman, A.


Increasingly, customers are expecting more and better service. As such, enterprises need guidelines and frameworks for addressing these expanding requirements. The concept of process completeness helps us to consider service from the customer's viewpoint; arguably, the only perspective to take. Process completeness is achieved when a firm's service delivery system matches the typical customer's breadth of expectations. While customers think in sets of services (e.g., I need a flight, a hotel, airport parking, wireless Internet), firms think in terms of single services (e.g., we can provide a flight). There are four basic service systems: (1) transaction--execute a basic request and nothing else, (2) process--handling all firm-related service requests through one touch point, (3) alliance--handling service requests through a single touch point via stitching together a static firm-selected alliance of service partners, and (4) agility--handling service requests through a single touch point via stitching together a dynamic customer-selected alliance of service partners. In addition to exploring the four service systems, this article guides executives regarding the selection and implementation of the appropriate service strategy that meets their typical customer's process completeness expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Piccoli, Gabriele & Brohman, M. Kathryn & Watson, Richard T. & Parasuraman, A., 2009. "Process completeness: Strategies for aligning service systems with customers' service needs," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 367-376, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:52:y:2009:i:4:p:367-376

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adam M. Brandenburger & Harborne W. Stuart, 1996. "Value-based Business Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 5-24, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Plangger, Kirk & Watson, Richard T., 2015. "Balancing customer privacy, secrets, and surveillance: Insights and management," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 625-633.
    2. Göbl, Martin & Klaus, Markus, 2014. "Bridging the Service Gap - Business Process Redesign & Information Technology as Multidimensional Success Driver for Logistics Service Providers," Journal of Applied Leadership and Management, Hochschule Kempten - University of Applied Sciences, Professional School of Business & Technology, vol. 3, pages 104-124.


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