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  • Voima, Päivi; Heinonen, Kristina; Strandvik, Tore; Mickelsson, Karl-Jacob; Arantola-Hattab, Leena Johanna (2011)
    This paper conceptualises customer ecosystems, which are defined as systems of actors related to the customer that are relevant concerning a specific service. Moving from provider-driven dyads and service systems to customer ecosystems, the paper uncovers multiple implications for service marketers regarding the definition of the customer, configurations of value units, scope of value formation, as well as relevant actor systems. The paper extends the perspective on service and suggests implications for research and practice.
  • Kindström, Daniel; Kowalkowski, Christian; Alejandro, Thomas (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2015)
    Purpose The objective of this research is to explore the implications for the sales function of the infusion of services by formerly product-based firms. In particular, it aims at identifying the changes that need to be made at the sales-function level if the services are to be successfully sold. Design/Methodology This research is an exploratory qualitative case study. Data were collected by focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with relevant managers in three large multinational companies based in Northern Europe, which were pursuing service-led growth. Findings The effects of service infusion processes on the sales function could be seen with respect to the three parts of the analytical framework: organization, roles, and competences. The results illustrate the need for a changed perspective with respect to all three parts, if a product-based firm is to be successful in the infusing of associated services into its portfolio of offerings. Analysis of the results identifies key operational initiatives that management needs to understand and implement when corporate and marketing strategies increasingly focus on service-led growth. Research limitations The study was exploratory and vendor centric, which means that it did not quantitatively assess the results or directly involve the customers at whom the services were directed. Also, the choice of business-to-business firms limits the capacity to generalize the findings. Originality/Value Whereas relationship-based and value-based selling are approaches more geared to the sales-force level, the study reported in this paper set out to understand fundamental differences at the sales-function level when firms pursue service-led growth. The findings suggest that the realignment of corporate strategy towards an increased focus on services may have far-reaching implications for the sales function.
  • Holmlund, Maria (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2008)
  • Lipkin, Michaela; Heinonen, Kristina (2014)
  • Carlborg, Per; Kindström, Daniel; Kowalkowski, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2013)
  • Kauppinen-Räisänen, Hannele; Gummerus, Johanna; von Koskull, Catharina; Finne, Åke; Helkkula, Anu; Kowalkowski, Christian; Rindell, Anne (Emerald Group Publishing, 2014)
  • Holmlund, Maria; Hagman, Anne; Polsa, Pia (Emerald Group Publishing, 2011)
  • Kowalkowski, Christian; Witell, Lars; Gustafsson, Anders (Elsevier Inc., 2013)
    Manufacturing firms have always delivered services, by supplying spare parts, installing equipment, training employees, or performing maintenance. In competitive markets though, firms seek new ways to differentiate their business, including an increased focus on service, often referred to as service infusion. Of the studies that seek to understand this phenomenon, most focus on large multinational firms; little is known about service infusion in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study adopts an explorative approach to investigate how SMEs construct new value constellations that enable value creation through services. The findings, based on in-depth interviews with key informants from 13 SMEs, suggest that there is no predefined transition process for service infusion in SMEs, which seldom have the resources to build new organizational units or create new specialties. Instead, they differentiate themselves through new value constellations within business networks. The heterogeneity of service offerings and business networks means those value constellations take many forms.
  • Raddats, Chris; Kowalkowski, Christian (Routledge, 2014)
    Purpose: As part of service infusion, manufacturers use services to differentiate their products and provide growth. Although several attempts have been made to classify manufacturers' service strategies and offerings, most have been based on small purposive samples. The purpose of this article is to create a generic typology of manufacturers' service strategies. Methodology/approach: The unit of analysis was the manufacturer or strategic business unit. The data collection was based on a survey of 145 B2B manufacturers in the United Kingdom. Findings: Three categories of service offerings were identified: product-attached services, operations services on own products, and vendor independent operations services. These categories are used to specify three generic service strategies: Services Doubters, for whom services are not a strong differentiator with no focus on any category of service offerings; Services Pragmatists, for whom product-attached services are a key differentiator; Services Enthusiasts, for whom services are both a product differentiator and an enabler of growth, with all three categories of service offerings important. Research implications: Whereas prior studies tend to use the concepts of service strategies and categories of service offerings interchangeably, we find empirical support for the importance of making a clear distinction between the two concepts. Practical implications: Manufacturers can be classified according to their services strategies. For Services Doubters service infusion is unlikely to be an appropriate approach to creating differentiation. For Services Pragmatists services play a crucial role in creating product differentiation. Services Enthusiasts use services to both differentiate their own products and also develop services-led growth. Originality/value/contribution: The paper exposes an ambiguity in the extant literature, with a manufacturer's categories of service offerings used as proxies for service strategies. A new typology of service strategies is presented based on categories of service offerings, which provides insight into how manufacturers infuse services.
  • Riel van, Allard; Liljander, Veronica; Lemmink, Jos; Streukens, Sandra (Inderscience, 2004)
    The paper explores the effect of customer satisfaction with online supporting services on loyalty to providers of an offline core service. Supporting services are provided to customers before, during, or after the purchase of a tangible or intangible core product, and have the purpose of enhancing or facilitating the use of this product. The internet has the potential to dominate all other marketing channels when it comes to the interactive and personalised communication that is considered quintessential for supporting services. Our study shows that the quality of online supporting services powerfully affects satisfaction with the provider and customer loyalty through its effect on online value and enjoyment. Managerial implications are provided.
  • Holmlund, Maria; Kock, Sören (Elsevier Inc., 1995)
  • Dube, Apramey (Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2014)
  • Gebauer, Heiko; Kowalkowski, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2012)
    Purpose – The paper aims to provide a better understanding of the interrelatedness of customer and service orientations in the organizational structures of capital goods manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative, multi-case research design was employed using 36 European capital goods manufacturing companies. Findings – This article explored four different patterns of how companies move from being product-focused to service-focused, and from having an organizational structure that is geographically focused to one that is customer-focused. The four patterns are termed as follows: emphasizing service orientation, service-focused organizational structure, emphasizing customer orientation, and customer-focused organizational structure. Research limitations/implications – Although the study is based on 36 case studies, the external validity (generalizability) of the findings could not be assessed accurately. Practical implications – The description of the four organizational approaches offers guidance for managers to restructure their companies towards service and customer orientations. Originality/value – The article links the relatively independent discussions of service and customer orientations in the context of organizational structures. The four patterns provide a better understanding of how capital goods manufacturers integrate increased customer and service focuses in their organizational structures.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Holmlund, Maria; Edvardsson, Bo (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2012-01-20)
  • Biggemann, Sergio; Kowalkowski, Christian; Maley, Jane; Brege, Staffan (Elsevier Inc., 2013)
  • Leverin, Andreas; Liljander, Veronica (Emerald, 2006)
    Purpose - This study investigates the relationship marketing (RM) strategy of a retail bank and examines whether - after its implementation - customer relationships were strengthened through perceived improvements in the banking relationship and consequent loyalty towards the bank. Design/methodology/approach - A survey was conducted on two profitability segments, of which the more profitable segment had been directly exposed to a customer oriented RM strategy, whereas the less profitable segment had been subjected to more sales oriented marketing communications. Findings - No significant differences were found between the segments on customers’ evaluations of the service relationship or their loyalty toward the bank. Furthermore regression analysis revealed that relationship satisfaction was less important as a determinant of loyalty in the more profitable segment. Research limitations/implications - This study was conducted as a case study of one specific branch of a bank group in Finland, which limits the external validity of its results. It was not possible to ascertain if, or to what extent, customers of the more profitable segment had received the intended RM treatment. Other limitations are also discussed. Practical implications - Customer orientation is desirable within retail banking and more studies are needed on the differential drivers of loyalty across customer profitability segments. By identifying the aspects of a banking relationship that are more highly valued among more profitable customers than among less profitable customers, bank managers would be able to more effectively devise appropriate strategies for different segments. Originality/value - The study contributes to the RM literature and marketing of financial services by providing empirical evidence of the effects of RM activities on customer relationship perceptions in different profitability segments.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Helkkula, Anu (Department of Business Studies. Uppsala University, 2013-10)
  • Editorial 
    Kindström, Daniel; Kowalkowski, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2014)