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Approaches of Aftermarket Services for Successful Customer Relations: A Study of Volvo Trucks de México S.A. de C.V.
KTH, Superseded Departments, Industrial Economics and Management.
2004 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

It has for many businesses, especially on competitive markets, become fundamental to offer augmented services around the core product, with the aim of building lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with the customers. The author of this thesis has investigated such services offered on the Mexican truck aftermarket.

The art of creating successful customer relations requires theoretical insight. Research applicable on aftermarket services has therefore been studied, and the reader will go into theories of service management, relationship marketing, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty, to better understand the contexts in which aftermarket activities can be placed.

The empirical research has been carried out at Volvo Trucks in Mexico through interviews with employees and dealers of its aftermarket organization, but also through interviewing and surveying its truck customers. The main objective of the project was to identify gaps between the aftermarket services offered and the actual needs of the customers, and to address them. Another objective was to find appropriate ways of monitoring customer satisfaction- and loyalty in the future.

The lack of spare parts at the dealers was found to be the most urgent problem for the moment. In addition, spare parts availability was evaluated to be the most important area among the surveyed customers.

Financial problems of the dealers were found to provoke the lack of spare parts in many cases. In turn, evidence of poor management was identified as possible causing factors to the financial problems. The main general flaw in this sense would be a questionable dealer business focus.

The research identified the following issues as possible areas of improvement, based on the theoretical approach chosen:

  • A financial renovation of the Volvo Trucks dealer net, excepting the dealers that are not fully committed to its role. Those are to be phased out.
  • Initiation of IT-solutions to support automatic replenishment of spare parts at the dealerships. Forcing the usage of a common CRM database.
  • Introduction of corporate key performance indicators based on customer relations’ metrics.
  • Altering dealer business focus towards relationship marketing thinking.
  • Improve dealer management business vision and business knowledge.

In addition to these findings of possible areas of improvement, the following future methods of customer satisfaction research and customer loyalty metrics are recommended:

  • Yearly one-to-one interviews with core customers performed by the aftermarket organization, and continuous close follow-up actions performed by the dealers, to monitor customer satisfaction.
  • Customer defection rate metrics to monitor customer loyalty.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , 136 p.
, TRITA/KTH/IEO/EX--0426, ISSN 1403-7777
Keyword [en]
aftermarket, truck industry, customer relations, Volvo, Mexico, dealer operations, service management, relationship marketing, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-128380ISRN: ISRN/KTH/IEO/EX--04/26OAI: diva2:647433
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Industrial Engineering and Management
Available from: 2013-09-25 Created: 2013-09-11 Last updated: 2013-09-25Bibliographically approved

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