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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14286
How managers evoke the creation of customer experiences in a business to business consultancy company
Author: Ylikoski, Tuomas
Title: How managers evoke the creation of customer experiences in a business to business consultancy company
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; toimialat; business branches; konsultointi; consulting; business-to-business; business-to-business; asiakkaat; customers; asiakashallinta; customer relationship management; kokemus; experience; elämykset; experiences; johtaminen; management
Pages: 67
Key terms: customer experience; customer experience management; business to business; consultancy
Abstract:
This thesis aims to find out through which organizational, functional and personal level activities the management in a business to business company evokes the creation of customer experiences. The theoretical foundations of this thesis lie in academic literature regarding customer experience and its management. While customer experience and its management has been mainly studied in business to consumer contexts, this thesis includes empirical qualitative research done in a business to business context. Also, this thesis takes a novel viewpoint in framing the existing literature on customer experience management to different managerial activities and functions. This framing is used in the data analysis while the empirical data acts as supplement for the frame and brings depth through specificity to extant academic literature.

Through 15 in-depth interviews with people mainly occupying management positions in the company, the research findings suggest that management evokes the creation of customer experiences through the three levels of activities in multiple ways.

Organizational level activities include the company's mission and vision as well as their organizational culture. Shared and resonant values seem to be the most important concretization of the organizational culture.

Functional level activities include the human resources management, marketing and customer research functions. Especially important in this level are the recruitment process, which act as a way of ensuring service quality. Customer research activities were focused on customer satisfaction, customer retention and word of mouth. Other functional level activities include knowledge distribution, service processes and management's role in ensuring the aforementioned functions are working at desired level and providing support for customer teams. The lack of well-defined service processes seems to be counteracted by employee empowerment and trust.

Personal level activities include adjusting behavior to match the customer's, training, collecting customer feedback in day to day interactions and management acting as the customer's confidant (thus providing reassurance and support for customer's decisions).
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.