The integration of customer needs in e-business systems
The establishment of e-businesses has often been implemented from the inside of companies rather than from the customer perspective and the knowledge about customer needs from traditional businesses have been applied directly into new e-business systems. The overall objective of this study is to identify how to better understand customer needs and how to integrate these needs in order to create customer value when developing and establishing e-business systems for products and services. In order to better understand customer needs the study is undertaken to understand and interpret peoples’ opinions and feelings about e-business systems. The research at hand are qualitative and based on an action case method, with the main empirical input from interviews and observations. The research has mainly an inductive approach with empirical findings linked together with theories of customer value, service development, customer behaviour and process mapping. Two cases form the basis of empirical input to the study. The first case was with an internal service provider, Tetra Pak Business Support AB, during the time when they developed and introduced a new web system for internal services. The second case was with the Swedish Pharmacy Direct, an organisation whose objective is to develop and introduce a web-system for purchase of pharmaceuticals to consumers. Based on a value process framework of understanding, creating and delivering value, the study agrees to the importance of conceiving all steps in that value process when developing web-systems for end customers. The study concludes that the first phase of understanding value has to be included in the development of e-business in order to capture the customer’s need. It is suggested in the thesis, to integrate the method of mapping the customer’s process with the value process. By this integration the understanding value phase will be included and the development of the web-based system will turn from an internal into a customer perspective development.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; TECHNOLOGY; customer process mapping; value process; customer perspective; Web-based systems; e-business
Date of Publication:01/01/2002