Service Timing: Designing and Executing Service in a Dynamic Environment

  • Ruth N. BoltonEmail author
Part of the Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy book series (SSRI)


Service managers and researchers have long recognized that service timing is critical. Studies of how waiting time and reliability are important to customers and service firms began more than 50 years ago. Current research explores how customer engagement, co-production and co-creation unfold over time. This article reviews prior research and models of the dynamics of service timing that have emerged. It argues that service timing and its nuances are neglected by managers and researchers. Notably, customer service experiences are often embedded in rich social and emotional contexts, mediated by technology, and evolving across different service channels, platforms and locations over time in ways that are not well understood. Fortunately, rich individual-level business-to-customer and customer-to-customer data offer exciting opportunities to advance our knowledge of the dynamics of service experiences. This chapter reviews what is known (and unknown) about service timing and suggest specific research questions, opportunities and challenges.


Service design Service innovation Service operations Customer experience Service experience Customer relationships Service encounters Dynamic models 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Service LeadershipArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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