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Acquiring Customer Knowledge To Enhance Servitization Of Industrial Companies

T. Hakanen, Minna Kansola, K. Valkokari
Published 2014 · Business

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To enhance servitization of industrial companies there is a need for better understanding of why and how business customers purchase services. The purpose of this study is therefore to identify the factors affecting customer’s service procurement. The study combines the theoretical bases of servitization, key account management and customer knowledge management. A qualitative exploratory research approach based on semi-structured interviews in both supplier and customer companies (n = 47) was used. The study contributes to the servitization literature by suggesting that customer’s outsourcing strategy, manufacturing technology, level of technological competency, procurement function structure, and expectations for benefits and customer experience significantly influence the procurement of services. We propose that acquiring in-depth customer-specific knowledge is key to increasing solution supplier’s customer orientation in servitization. The acquired customer knowledge offers a basis for identifying customers of most strategic importance with regard to their service purchasing potential.
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