Utilisation of customer contacts: customer observation

    Research output: ThesisMaster's thesisTheses

    Abstract

    Importance of customer as a source of knowledge and finding out the customer needs have both been emphasised both in business literature and in the interviews made for this study. Especially the latent customer needs are seen important for future competitiveness. However, the methods for finding out the customer needs concentrate on the present, clearly phrased needs. There is a need for rich customer based knowledge. Customer contacts are underutilised as a source of knowledge. The objective of this study is to find a method to utilise the customer contacts as a source of knowledge more efficiently. To reach this objective, the customer observation is presented. A concrete goal is the development of a general method of customer observation and its application to the needs of the case company Fastems. Fastems hopes that the method raises the amount of ideas that come to the product and service development processes and increases their customer orientation. The method is tested in practise in the piloting stage. The testing is done in service organisations of Fastems in several countries. The observations received during the piloting phase are analysed and feedback is given to the observers. An important part of the study is to find appropriate methods for motivating the observers. The successful implementation and sustenance of the method are seen as goals of high importance. Later on, the customer observation method is implemented throughout the company. The results of the piloting are promising and the described method has roused interest among other companies as well.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationMaster Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Lappeenranta University of Technology
    Place of PublicationLappeenranta
    Publisher
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeG2 Master's thesis, polytechnic Master's thesis

    Keywords

    • customer observation
    • front end of innovation
    • product development
    • service development
    • PSS
    • customer based knowledge

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