What is customer value in business-to-business professional services? A case study on which factors that leads to customer value in business-to-business professional services

Bjørn Boman Rinde

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis has suggested a framework, ProServVal, for identifying of factors that leads to perceived customer value among business-to-business professional services. The framework was applied to a case of a Norwegian engineering consultancy, and the collected data material suggested six overall dimensions of value adding factors: Core service, peripheral service, relationship, trust, understanding and adaptation, and commitment. The findings are largely in line with earlier findings described in relevant literature, and confirm the core service dimension to encompass some of the more important value-adding factors, as ‘reliable deliveries’ and the ‘competence’. Peripheral service is largely supported through ‘responsiveness’, but also including a value adding factor of ‘physical meetings’. Findings also indicates that the dimension of relationship is determining customer value clearly through ‘cooperation’ and ‘communication’, but a strong undefinable psychological factor of ‘chemistry’ points out a important value adding factor within the dimension of relationship. Trust is confirmed by the empirical findings as an independent dimension, indicate that trust goes beyond the actual delivery and is a general value-adding factor for the interviewees. Understanding and adaptation is representing a broad two-sided dimension that is encompass value adding factors as the service providers ability to understand the customer, and also the value adding factor of the customer’s understanding of the service provider. The dimension of commitment was found to contain value-adding elements as ‘engagement’ and ‘extra mile’. The results of this study provides a framework that may have implications for engineering consultancies in Norway, but might also provide an insight of customer value adding factors in other business-to-business professional services.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages138