Tangible Service Automation: Decomposing the Technology-Enabled Engagement Process (TEEP) for Augmented Reality

Jonas Heller*, Mathew Chylinski, Ko de Ruyter, Debbie I. Keeling, Tim Hilken, Dominik Mahr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


The rise of augmented reality (AR) technology, which overlays digital content to alter customers’ views of a physical service setting, using mobile and wearable computing, drives the digital automation of physical services. In particular, it promises to achieve tangibility even in service encounters delivered in digital formats. However, customer engagement with AR is falling short of expectations. Managers lack an integrated framework of AR service automation and therefore tend to focus on the technology rather than on the process of customer engagement with AR service automation. To address this problem, the current study proposes a technology-enabled engagement process that integrates multiple stages of customer engagement, as a service-centric process. To establish that engagement with AR service automation requires the inclusion of service tangibility, as part of the process, the authors decompose the steps of interactive service engagement, the spatial presence of the service, customers’ emotional and cognitive engagement with the service, and perceived value-in-use, which lead to emergent behavioral forms of engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Service Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)84-103
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 23.06.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • technology-enabled engagement process
  • augmented reality
  • engagement behaviors
  • service tangibility
  • service automation

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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