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To be Involved or Not: the Role of Customer Involvement in Service Production and Quality
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. (Internationalization)
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
MBA ProMA, Industrail Marketing, IEI. (Internationalization)
2012 (English)In: 15th QMOD conference proceedings, 2012, 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of customer involvement in the service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery. The study includes four service provider cases: a general contractor, a chemical process engineer, a software developer and a language institute as well as a service buyer case- the National Petrochemical Company. The results show that even-though co-production of the customers with the service provider is a must, however, it has different effects on the quality of service produced depending on the situation and the nature of services offered. In the cases of the complex engineering services- general contractor and chemical engineering- that service requirements and technical specifications were provided by the customers, and service providers were chosen by open bidding process there were instances where the co-production could lead to malfunction of the service. This was evident in the instances when the inappropriate technical specifications and requirements were provided by the customer hindering the service provider to deliver services smoothly. On the other hand, in the cases of new software development process and language institute, it had been evident that the involvement of customers–with a sound customer involvement management-has tremendous positive effects and lead to greater productivity and customer satisfaction. In the case of petrochemical company and international service providers, educating the suppliers by the buyer, to a large extend, could solve the service quality problems in terms of on time delivery, costs and technical conformity as stressed by buyers.

Furthermore, for an efficient co-production and the right quality of services, it is mandated to build relationship and trust amongst the customers and service providers, draw a borderline between customer “involvement” and impertinent “customer intervention”. The study shows the importance of building cooperative culture between customers and service providers by replacing “blaming culture” where each side blames the other side for the problems that occur; with a “problem solving culture” where both parties actively co-operate to overcome the problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
customer involvement, customer roles, service specifications selection, dimensions of customer-supplier relationship, customer satisfaction service quality
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-89565OAI: diva2:608258
15h QMOD-ICQSS conference, 5-7 September 2012, Poznan, Poland
Available from: 2013-02-26 Created: 2013-02-26 Last updated: 2013-03-08

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