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

Gabriele Piccoli, M. Kathryn Brohman, Richard T. Watson, Ananthanarayanan Parasuraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


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. Crown

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009



  • Customer service systems
  • e-Services
  • Information systems
  • Information technology and customer service
  • Inter-organizational systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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