Purpose The aim of the paper is to bring together the state-of-the-art research and theory from the communication and service research fields to examine the implications of new technologies for the future of service communication. Design/methodology/approach The authors apply the media affordances perspective to develop an overarching framework that facilitates theoretical conceptualization and research question formulation on the constantly evolving technology-enabled communication formats. Findings Central to the forward-looking framework of service communication facilitated by new technologies, this paper identifies various affordances at the service frontline where service customers and providers interact with the technologies. Customers are empowered to expand their roles blurring the role distinction between service providers and customers. Depending on what kind of relationships service providers form with the emerging technologies, they may develop new service communication strategies and new interaction possibilities with customers. As a result, the technologies' affordances would facilitate value creation outcomes that can manifest in the external (whether it is in the physical or digital space) and/or internal (one's own mind) spaces. Applying the affordances framework, the authors map out four key areas of future research regarding new technologies in service communication: (1) social media technologies; (2) multisensory reality-enhancing technologies; (3) AI-enabled voice assistants; and (4) AI-driven service robots. Originality/value This paper proposes an original theoretical framework to stimulate and guide future research and theory development regarding the implications of new technologies in the constantly evolving and complex service communication landscape.
- Services communication