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Achieving Customer Satisfaction through Integrated Products and Services: An Exploratory Study

Authors

  • Jawwad Z. Raja,

  • Dorota Bourne,

  • Keith Goffin,

  • Mehmet Çakkol,

  • Veronica Martinez


  • The authors acknowledge the funding and support of the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council Grant (EPSRC/IMRC-144), through the Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre. We acknowledge the support of all members of the PSS Value Team at Cranfield University and special thanks to Dr. Mark Johnson for his helpful insights into the literature on integrated products and services. Lastly, we are grateful for the support received from Ayten Alibaba and Joerg Ries.

Address correspondence to: Jawwad Z. Raja, Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark. E-mail: jr.om@cbs.dk. Tel: +(45) 3815 2416.

Abstract

Complex products such as manufacturing equipment have always needed maintenance and repair services. Increasingly, leading manufacturers are integrating products and services to generate increased revenues and achieve customer satisfaction. Designing integrated products and services requires a different approach to new product development and a clear understanding of how customers perceive the value they obtain from actual usage of products and services—so-called value-in-use. However, there is a lack of research on integrated products and services and how they impact customer satisfaction.

An exploratory study was undertaken to understand customers' views on integrated products and services and the value-in-use derived from such offerings. As value-in-use and its impacts are complicated concepts, a technique from psychology—Repertory Grid Technique—was used to gather data in 33 interviews. The interviews allowed a deep understanding of customer views on integrated products and services to be obtained, and a systematic analysis identified the key attributes of value-in-use. In order to probe further, the data were then analyzed using Honey's procedure, which identified the impact of the attributes of value-in-use on customer satisfaction. Two key attributes—relational dynamic and access—were found to have the most influence on customer satisfaction. This paper contributes to the innovation field by identifying customer needs for integrated products and services and how these impact customer satisfaction. These are key points and need to be fully considered by managers during new product and service development. Similarly, the paper identifies a number of important areas for further research.

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