How do SMEs in Sweden use digitalization to strengthen their relationship with customers?

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för företagande, innovation och hållbarhet

Abstract: Purpose This paper aims to explore how digitalization affects Swedish SMEs' relationship with the customers to increase satisfaction, trust, and loyalty of the customers. Literature review The literature review gives a thorough account of the theoretical concepts and contributes to the analysis. This chapter thoroughly reviews digitalization, such as digital transformation strategies, digital business model, and customer relationship management. It also examines the relationship qualities: trust, satisfaction, and loyalty and explores if there is any correlation between these and how these relationship qualities can be affected by digitalization. Methodology The research approach in this study is a deductive approach. We use case studies in this qualitative experimental study. The sample for this study selected is standardized by following the non-probability procedure, and therefore, three companies were selected for the interviews. After collecting data from the interview and comparing the result with the existing theory stated in the frame of reference, it is a change in the type of research from exploratory to the one that descriptive research. The questionnaire for the interviews consists of two parts. The first part aims to explore the expected customer relationship of the company which the second part is designed to investigate the digitalization process. Findings The empirical findings of this study indicate that investigated companies pay much attention to the customer relationship. Digitalization has a positive effect on trust and satisfaction. However, digitalization has a minimal impact on customer loyalty compared to many other factors. The study indicates that digitalization can strengthen the customer relationship. Keywords: Digitalization, Customer Relationship Management, Trust, Satisfaction, Loyalty

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