Customer involvement in Service production, delivery and quality: the challenges and opportunities
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, E-ISSN 1756-6703, Vol. 5, no 1, 46-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the role of customer involvement in service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer satisfaction.
Design/methodology/approach – Since the nature of the study is exploratory, the case study approach was adopted. The paper focusses on customer involvement in the context of service production and delivery system in service organization rather than in the context of customer organization. The authors looked at supplier involvement as well, due to the fact that a lack of sufficient information from a supplier or lack of proper training may inhibit customers' successful involvement. A detailed case study was carried out on a sample of four service providers: a general contractor, a chemical process engineer, a software developer and a language institute as well as a service buyer case – a Petrochemical Holding Company. In total the paper includes five cases.
Findings – The study reveals 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 cases 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 the petrochemical company and international service providers, educating the suppliers/service providers by the buyer, to a large extent, could solve the service quality problems in terms of on time delivery, costs and technical conformity as stressed by buyers.
Originality/value – The study provides empirical evidence regarding customer involvement in the service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer satisfaction and sheds light on the situations that customer involvement is a success or a threat. The research also contributes to the understanding of how the nature of services, the level and scope of customer involvement as well as building relationship and trust amongst the customer and the service provider affect the outcome of customer-service provider co-production.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013. Vol. 5, no 1, 46-65 p.
Customer involvement, Customer roles, Service specification selection, Dimensions of customer-suplier relationship, Service quality, Customer satisfction, Iran
Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-92766DOI: 10.1108/17566691311316248OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-92766DiVA: diva2:622339
ProjectsInternationalization, MBA ProMA