Customer perceived value over time : A case study at Ericsson SoftLab

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Ekonomiska institutionen; Linköpings universitet/Ekonomiska institutionen

Abstract:

Introduction: During the last years power have been passed from the producer to the consumer. Then, for any given firm, consumers play an increasingly important role. Firms sell not only within limits set by the price of competing products, but within limits set by buyers’ tastes as well. Both products and services have become more sophisticated and each individual customers value perception is important to recognize. In short, to stay competitive firms must put their main focus on the customer’s needs. When it comes to services producer and user must cooperate. Joint value creation process becomes a central part of the relationship between producer and user. The service production process in consulting-related services occurs during a relatively long period of time with various interchanges before the service ultimately is produced.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to understand how customers, in a business-to-business situation, perceive the value of a complex service over time. Focus will also be directed towards understanding how the producer can improve the knowledge of how the customers’ preferences change over time.

Method: A qualitative case study was conducted, in which the customers of the case firm were interviewed.

Conclusions: The major difficulty with the notion of value is that it is evaluated in the eyes of the beholder. That is, what it ultimately comes down to are subjective feelings and opinions of individuals. Nevertheless, this study shows that value perceived becomes more complex with time. That is, experiences from both the relationship and the joint value creation affect how customers perceive value. With time, customers are able to see more benefits, but at the same time more sacrifices. These tend to be relation-oriented.

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