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Customer value in commercial experiences: Expecting the unexpected
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. (Kvalitetsteknik)
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To an ever greater extent, customers desire experiences that are highly emotional, personally designed and memorable. Today’s customer has an increasing need to be entertained and often searches for pleasurable offerings of hedonic value. Many academics also argue that commercial experiences deliver a higher customer value than goods and services. More research regarding the character of the commercial experience is needed to understand the needs of the customer and what creates value to the customer. However the existing tools and methods for measuring customer value and customer satisfaction seldom contain the elements pointed out as important to customers in a commercial experience. Is it enough to focus on values, methods and tools developed within for instance Total Quality Management (TQM) or is there a need for further development to include the offering of a commercial experience?

 The overall purpose of this thesis has been to explore the field of commercial experiences and establish new knowledge on how customer value is created when delivering commercial experiences. Within the overall purpose the research also intended to contribute to the area of quality development. In order to fulfill the overall purpose three research questions were asked and three case studies and one validation study were conducted. In the first case study, focus was on exploring the commercial experience sector and searching for best practices as regards how to create value to the customer. One organization was studied and empirical data was collected by site visit, direct observation, participant observation, open seminars, follow-up interview questions and documentation. In the second case study the aim was on how organizations were working to create customer value in commercial experiences. Empirical data was collected at eight organizations where top managers were interviewed. In the third study the aim was to develop a method or tool to measure customer value in a commercial experience. A validation study and a case study were conducted. In the validation study a questionnaire was developed as a measuring tool for commercial experiences and later tested on customers in the third and last case study.

 The findings in the three case studies presented in this thesis contribute to expanding earlier research concerning commercial experiences and how customer value is created when delivering them. From the findings of research the commercial experience is defined as “a memorable event that the customer is willing to pay for” and identified as a unique business offering providing hedonic customer value. Further the findings describe the commercial experience by three vital factors: strong engagement, highly emotional and being memorable. To additionally describe the characterizing elements of the commercial experience, the research identified these factors as important to customers: having fun, novelty, surprise, learning, a challenge, co-creation, the unexpected, storytelling, being in control, the venue for the experience (or the room of the experience), personal contact with staff and emotions creating strong engagement. Using the theory of attractive quality by Kano is suggested as one way to recognize elements of high customer value and to identify and deliver the unexpected, novelty and surprise the customers.

 Further findings of the research revealed that existing tools and methods developed for measuring customer value and satisfaction do not sufficiently consider or measure the effect of customer emotions or the characterizing elements of the commercial experience. As a consequence, a questionnaire was developed and tested to identify and measure elements of value to customers in a commercial experience. From the results, a new instrument for measuring variables of value in a commercial experience is proposed. One of the conclusions is that a specific tool for measuring customer value in commercial experiences is both required and needed. It was also concluded that there is a shortage of well-known and applied methods for measuring customer value in commercial experiences and that further research of this area is needed.

 The research presented in this thesis also proves that successful organizations delivering commercial experiences have a strong organizational culture built on core values. The conclusion was that working according to the core values of TQM is also a successful approach for these organizations, even though this does not seem to be enough. The characterizing element “co-creating” the experience between the customer and the provider was identified as a vital factor of business success. Giving the customer the power to affect the outcome within certain limitations and an opportunity to enhance the customer value meant that the experience becomes more personal and delivers a higher customer value than other offerings. Further identified ways of working to enhance customer value in the offering were: to recruit and select co-workers not only on competence and skills but also based on the core values; to stimulate creative thinking among co-workers and to further enhance the offering with storytelling and theming. These ways of working were categorized as specific and more unique or necessary in the experience industry and can therefore be vital in the competition between different organizations to deliver superior customer value.

Abstract [sv]

I en allt större utsträckning letar kunder efter att konsumera upplevelser som berör på ett emotionellt plan, är personligt utformade och minnesvärda. Dagens kunder har ett växande behov av att underhållas och letar allt oftare efter erbjudanden enbart för nöjes skull. Flera forskare är överens om att kommersiella upplevelser handlar om att leverera ett högre kundvärde än för varor och tjänster. Det behövs mer forskning kring vad en kommersiell upplevelse innehåller för viktiga egenskaper som skapar värde för kunden samt att öka förståelsen kring kundens behov. De befintliga metoder och verktyg för att mäta kundvärde och kundnöjdhet innehåller få av de egenskaper som utpekas som vitala för en kommersiell upplevelse. Räcker det att arbeta med de värderingar, metoder och verktyg som utvecklats inom till exempel offensiv kvalitetsutveckling (TQM) eller behövs det ytterligare utveckling för att även inkludera den kommersiella upplevelsen?

 Det övergripande syftet med den här avhandlingen har varit att utforska området av kommersiella upplevelser och öka kunskapen kring hur kundvärde skapas när en kommersiell upplevelse levereras. Inom ramen för det övergripande syftet fanns även ett fokus att forskningen skulle bidra till ämnesområdet kvalitetsutveckling. För att uppfylla det övergripande syftet har tre forskningsfrågor ställts och tre fallstudier och en valideringsstudie genomförts. I den första fallstudien var syftet att utforska området av kommersiella upplevelser, inhämta kunskap och leta efter goda exempel för att skapa förståelse för hur kundvärde skapas inom kommersiella upplevelser. En utvald organisation studerades och besöktes. Empirisk data insamlades genom flera olika datakällor såsom direkt observation, deltagande observation, insamling av dokument, öppna seminarier och uppföljande intervjufrågor. I den andra fallstudien var syftet att studera hur organisationer arbetar med att skapa kundvärde i en kommersiell upplevelse. Den empiriska datainsamlingen insamlades via intervjuer med högsta ledningen i åtta olika organisationer. I den tredje och sista studien var syftet att utveckla ett sätt att mäta kundvärdet i en kommersiell upplevelse. Studien delades in i två delar, en valideringsstudie för att utveckla ett sätt att mäta och en fallstudie där mätverktyget testades bland kunder i en kommersiell upplevelse.

Resultatet av de tre fallstudierna som presenteras i avhandlingen bidrar till en vidareutveckling av tidigare forskning om kommersiella upplevelser och hur kundvärde skapas när en kommersiell upplevelse levereras. Som ett resultat av forskningen definieras en kommersiell upplevelse som “en minnesvärd händelse som kunden är beredd att betala för” och identifieras som ett unikt erbjudande som innehåller ett hedoniskt kundvärde. Vidare visar forskningsresultaten på att den kommersiella upplevelsen utgörs av tre viktiga faktorer för kunden såsom att vara djupt engagerande, starkt känslomässigt berörande och minnesvärd. För att ytterligare beskriva upplevelsens karaktärsdrag har ett flertal egenskaper identifierats som ett resultat av fallstudie tre. En användning av Kanos teorier om attraktiv kvalitet föreslås som ett sätt att fortsätta arbetet med att identifiera egenskaper som dels kan skapa ett högre kundvärde men också för att kunna överraska, leverera något nytt och ge kunden det oväntade som ofta efterfrågas.

Forskningsresultaten påvisar en brist bland befintliga mätverktyg och metoder för kundvärde och kundnöjdhet att mäta effekten av ett känslomässigt värde och de övriga egenskaper som utpekas viktiga för kommersiella upplevelser. Som en följd av det utvecklas en enkät för att identifiera och mäta viktiga egenskaper av värde för kunden i en kommersiell upplevelse. Från resultaten föreslås ett nytt mätinstrument för att mäta värdefulla egenskaper i en kommersiell upplevelse. En av slutsatserna är att mätverktyg specifikt utvecklade för att mäta kundvärdet i kommersiella upplevelser behövs. Erkända och tillämpade metoder för att mäta kundvärdet i en kommersiell upplevelse identifieras som en brist och mer forskning behövs inom området.

Forskningen i avhandlingen visar att framgångsrika organisationer som levererar kommersiella upplevelser har en stark organisationskultur som bygger på värderingar. En av slutsatserna var att arbeta enligt kärnvärderingarna inom offensiv kvalitetsutveckling är en framgångsrik metod, även för organisationer som erbjuder kommersiella upplevelser. Men det verkar inte vara tillräckligt. En annan viktig framgångsfaktor som identifieras är att samskapa (co-create) upplevelsen mellan kund och leverantör. Det ger kunden möjligheten att påverka resultatet av upplevelsen inom vissa begränsningar och därmed en chans att förstärka kundvärdet, bli mer personlig och leverera ett högre kundvärde än andra erbjudanden. Vidare identifierade arbetssätt för att öka kundvärdet i erbjudandet var: rekrytera och välj medarbetare baserat på kompetens, färdigheter och värderingar; stimulera kreativt tänkande bland medarbetare; samt förstärk erbjudandet genom användningen av storytelling och tematisering. Dessa arbetssätt kategoriseras som specifika och mer unika eller nödvändiga inom upplevelseindustrin och kan vara avgörande i konkurrensen mellan olika organisationer för att leverera ett högre kundvärde.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2017. , 102 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 262
Keyword [en]
Commercial Experience, Customer Value, Hedonic Value, Quality, Experiential quality, TQM, Kano model, Attractive Quality, Co-creation, Storytelling, Strong Engagement
Keyword [sv]
Kommersiell upplevelse, Kundvärde, Njutnings-/upplevelseinriktat värde, Kvalitet, Upplevelsekvalitet, TQM, Kano-modellen, Attraktiv kvalitet, Samskapa, Storytelling och Starkt engagemang
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30593ISBN: 978-91-88025-60-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-30593DiVA: diva2:1088514
Public defence
2017-05-12, Q221, Akademigatan 1, Hus Q, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-19 Created: 2017-04-12 Last updated: 2017-04-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Commercial experiences from a customer perspective elaborated, defined and distinguished
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Commercial experiences from a customer perspective elaborated, defined and distinguished
2010 (English)In: The TQM Journal, ISSN 1754-2731, Vol. 22, no 3, 285-292 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - A new type of business offering is currently gaining much attention, a type which in some aspects appears to be distinct from goods and services. These offerings are usually denoted as commercial experiences and are claimed to provide higher customer value than other types of offerings as they, for example, engage customers in an inherently memorable way. The understanding of what constitutes commercial experiences is however still scant. The purpose of this paper is to take a closer look at the commercial experience concept from a customer perspective. The paper aims specifically at elaborating and defining commercial experiences as well as distinguishing them from goods and services. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on literature studies. Findings - The authors identify memorable as the fundamental distinctive characteristic for commercial experiences. Memorable events are then shown to be strongly emotional events. Finally the two-factor structure of affect is used to show that the factor "strong engagement" is a critical driver of commercial experiences. As a result of the elaboration the authors also propose a new definition of commercial experiences and distinguish commercial experiences from goods and services in three ways. Originality/value - The paper increases the currently scant understanding of commercial experiences.

Keyword
Business enterprise; Corporate strategy; Customer orientation; Innovation; Value chain
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11700 (URN)10.1108/17542731011035523 (DOI)2-s2.0-77951872260 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2010-06-14 Created: 2010-06-14 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
2. Can selecting the right values help TQM implementation?: A case study about organisational homogeneity at the Walt Disney Company
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can selecting the right values help TQM implementation?: A case study about organisational homogeneity at the Walt Disney Company
2012 (English)In: Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 23, no 1, 1-11 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Total Quality Management, TQM, is often referred to as a value based management philosophy, built on a set of core values. These TQM values should ideally be conformed to by all employees in order to achieve a thriving organisation. A strong organisational culture with shared core values can therefore be identified as of importance for a successful TQM implementation. This paper discusses how organisations need to act in order to achieve shared values among co-workers. In the theory two strategies appear: to select people who appear to possess the desired values in the first place and to socialize employees once hired. When working with TQM, several examples of socialization can be found in described techniques and tools, however the selection strategy seems to be both unapplied and underestimated. In order to find empirical examples a case study was conducted at an organisation which is renowned for the way in which they work with values. A conclusion of this paper is that, as a complement to the use of socialization, a selection strategy is proposed in order to achieve shared values in order to facilitate TQM implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
Keyword
Values, Total Quality Management; Socialization; Selection; Organizational Culture; Recruitment; Disney, Quality Technology and Management, TQM, Quality control, Kvalitetsteknik, Kvalitet
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-8773 (URN)10.1080/14783363.2011.637801 (DOI)000302474300001 ()2-s2.0-84859887794 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2009-04-06 Created: 2009-04-06 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
3. Towards Attractive Experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Attractive Experiences
2010 (English)In: 13th QMOD conference in Cottbus, Germany, 2010, 30/8-1/9, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

PurposeThe main purpose of this paper is to develop the concept of commercial experiences, helping providers to satisfy their customers’ needs and expectations.

ApproachTheories describing the concept of Commercial Experiences are analyzed through a quality perspective. The analysis was made through the Kano Model (Kano et. al. 1984), to build more knowledge about the customer’s need and expectations.

FindingsThe authors identify that focus on providing attributes of attractive quality can be a fundamental condition when providing commercial experiences. The paper raises the question for further discussion and future research to build more knowledge about the proposal that a commercial experience needs to contain attributes of attractive quality to actually fulfill the elements of a satisfying experience to the customer.

ValueThis paper increases the understanding of providing commercial experiences and points out the need to work with attributes of attractive quality.

Keyword
Experience Economy, Commercial Experience, Attractive Quality, Kano model, Customer Expectation, Customer Satisfaction
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12334 (URN)
Projects
Sportstech 1
Available from: 2010-12-13 Created: 2010-11-30 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
4. From problem to Attraction Detection Study (ADS): towards a new methodology for quality practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From problem to Attraction Detection Study (ADS): towards a new methodology for quality practice
2010 (English)In: Electronic Proceedings, Cottbus, Germany, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cottbus, Germany: , 2010
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12060 (URN)
Conference
QMOD
Available from: 2010-10-03 Created: 2010-10-03 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
5. Building an organizational culture when delivering commercial experiences – the leaders’ perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building an organizational culture when delivering commercial experiences – the leaders’ perspective
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, E-ISSN 1756-6703, Vol. 8, no 2, 229-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify, present and analyze the strengths and weaknesses mentioned by leaders when describing how their organization works with creating customer value in commercial experiences. Furthermore, the overall research purpose is to explore the creation of customer value in commercial experiences.

Design/methodology/approach – An interview study with eight managers focused on how their organization creates customer value when offering commercial experiences. Results were analyzed with regard to creating customer value, customer involvement and development of new experiences.

Findings – A literature study confirms an increasing interest in commercial experiences both financially and because of customer demand. The conducted interview study found several areas of improvement where the greatest potential was in the building of a strong organizational culture based on values to ensure co-creation of customer value between the organization and the customer. Also found to be important were working with customer involvement when co-producing the experience,discovering customer expectations and measuring the results of the delivered customer value.

Originality/value – When it comes to commercial experiences, one of the keys to creating customer value is the element of surprise and delivering the unexpected. This advocates studying the theory of attractive quality, discovering the unspoken needs of the customer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016
Keyword
Organizational culture, Kano model, Customer value, Attractive quality, Co-create, Commercial experience
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29375 (URN)10.1108/IJQSS-04-2015-0040 (DOI)2-s2.0-85010702841 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2016-12-01 Created: 2016-12-01 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
6. Measuring customer value in commercial experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Measuring customer value in commercial experiences
2016 (English)In: Total quality management and business excellence (Online), ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Customer value is of importance to all businesses in the search for competitive advantage. To learn about what customers truly appreciate, measuring can be a vital source of information towards an understanding of what creates customer value. Commercial experiences are claimed to be an offering of their own, separate from goods and services. The existing tools and models for measuring customer value do not focus on the elements pointed out as vital for commercial experiences. A case study was performed on customers participating in a high-impact commercial experience to understand what is valuable to the customer. The results were used todevelop an approach to measuring customer value specifically for commercial experiences. In the study, questionnaires were designed to find out about custom erexpectations before the experience compared with customer satisfaction after theexperience in search for important factors of customer value. The study achieved a high score indicating a high level of received customer value, reinforcing the selected measurement variables. The approach proposes the development of a measuring tool consisting of 22 elements along with the WOW-impact specificallyadapted for measuring customer value in commercial experiences. This is one way of expressing the created experiential quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016
Keyword
customer value; hedonic value; commercial experiences; measuring service quality; experiential value; experiential quality
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29376 (URN)10.1080/14783363.2016.1224084 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-12-01 Created: 2016-12-01 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved

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