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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2012
Thesis number: 12856
Managing customer expectations in global account relationships - Case: Customer relationship between two multinationals in the IT-industry
Author: Tynkkynen, Johanna
Title: Managing customer expectations in global account relationships - Case: Customer relationship between two multinationals in the IT-industry
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; asiakashallinta; customer relationship management; suhdetoiminta; public relations; asiakkaat; customers; tyytyväisyys; satisfaction; asenteet; attitudes; yritysviestintä; business communication; toimialat; business branches; tietotekniikka; information technology
Pages: 82
Key terms: global account management; expectations; customer satisfaction; cross-cultural differences; communication
Abstract:
Objective of the Research

Global account management has become a critical task for many multinational corporations as they seek to answer customers’ demands. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework for managing client expectations in global services delivery so that it supports long-lasting customer relationships, creates trust and better customer satisfaction and eventually helps in creating strategic partnerships. In the literature review global account management in multinational corporations, in cross-cultural business environment, and the relation between expectations and customer satisfaction is discussed and the empirical part supplements the literature review by deep diving into one customer relationship.

Methodology

This study is qualitative in nature and the research method utilized is a case study. The research material is collected in two ways. The literature review builds the theoretical foundation for the research and the empirical research material is derived from eight (8) semi-structured interviews with both the supplier and the customer company’s management and with customer end-users.

Findings and Conclusions

A theoretical model on managing customer expectations in global account relationship was built and the examination of these factors in the case setting showed that the framework was confirmed and supported. However, the empirical evidences also suggest that there are also some additional factors that have a significant impact on customer expectations in a global account relationship. The study’s main scientific contributions arise from the synthesis of existing research from the fields of global account management, customer satisfaction and expectations. Also, the results of the previous studies are tested. This study further strengthens the view that companies should take cultural differences into account when building a global account relationship and that in order to build a successful customer relationship customer expectations should be managed globally taking all organizational levels into account. The results of this study are useful especially for global account managers and account managers in the IT-industry.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.