Customer service is a critical element of a hotel's strategy and an important lever for differentiation of the hotel's offer. Over the last two decades, information systems have contributed to the transformation of customer interactions, enabling an unprecedented scale and scope of service personalization in the tourism industry. This paper reports the results of a mixed method study in a hotel that offers three contributions to the development and refinement of IT-enabled service personalization theory. It explores the role of signifiers in the design of customer service systems, showing that they significantly increase customer preference elicitation during the learning phase of the service personalization process. It then demonstrates that improved preference elicitation translates into higher customer service evaluations and value perceptions of the hotel. Finally, our study shows that IT-enabled service personalization creates financial benefits for the hotel via revenue share-shift from costly intermediated to direct distribution channels.
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