California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Scott E. Sampson and Richard B. Chase
Image Credit | Madison Oren
Two strategic factors of any business are customer interaction (how close you are to your customers) and customer participation (how involved customers are in producing the offering). In recent years, we have seen companies increase interaction through servitization and increase customer participation through self-service technologies. Yet, more is not necessarily better. Too much customer interaction can destroy operating efficiencies. Too much customer participation can compromise quality and depersonalize service relationships. This article provides a framework for analyzing customer interaction and participation, including an outline of decision factors, with the goal of identifying optimal and sustainable positioning for any given offering.