Buyer (dis)satisfaction and process innovation: The case of information technology services provision
Published on Jan 1, 2018in Industrial Marketing Management4.78
· DOI :10.1016/j.indmarman.2017.10.004
Abstract Studying buyer satisfaction within business services is important because if buyer expectations are not addressed, it can endanger the relationship. Dissatisfied buyers can remain silent or switch supplier without notice, damaging the supplier-buyer relationship. Therefore, suppliers often invest substantial effort in collecting feedback with an expectation that it will foster improvements and innovation in processes. However, using a mixed method sequential research design, we find that there is no direct association between the level of dissatisfaction and process innovation: this poses questions about redundancy of feedback collection. We find that there is a time lag between dissatisfaction identification and problem resolution. We also find that there is a cognitive gap between a supplier's interpretation of the buyer's expectations and the buyer's actual expectations. Further, existing processes that are improved repetitively using discontent feedback suffer from diminishing returns. Suppliers need to proactively seek solutions rather than reactively dealing with buyer problems.