Complex products such as manufacturing equipment have always needed maintenance and repair services. Increasingly, leading manufacturers are integrating products and services to generate increased revenues and achieve customer satisfaction. Designing integrated products and services requires a different approach to new product development and a clear understanding of how customers perceive the value they obtain from actual usage of products and services—so-called value-in-use. However, there is a lack of research on integrated products and services and how they impact customer satisfaction. An exploratory study was undertaken to understand customers' views on integrated products and services and the value-in-use derived from such offerings. As value-in-use and its impacts are complicated concepts, a technique from psychology—Repertory Grid Technique—was used to gather data in 33 interviews. The interviews allowed a deep understanding of customer views on integrated products and services to be obtained, and a systematic analysis identified the key attributes of value-in-use. In order to probe further, the data were then analyzed using Honey's procedure, which identified the impact of the attributes of value-in-use on customer satisfaction. Two key attributes—relational dynamic and access—were found to have the most influence on customer satisfaction. This paper contributes to the innovation field by identifying customer needs for integrated products and services and how these impact customer satisfaction. These are key points and need to be fully considered by managers during new product and service development. Similarly, the paper identifies a number of important areas for further research.
Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2013, Vol 30, Issue 6, p. 1128-1144