Inger Roos - Research

You find all the publications related to the field of interest as pdf-files below.

Does my marketing make sense?

Many companies ask themselves if their marketing is meaningful in terms of its effect on customer loyalty. Does our marketing make sense to the customers? Do the messages interest them?
If the answer in either case is no, the effect on loyalty may not be as intended.

Fields of interest

Customer Switching behavior

Customer switching behavior takes an actual-behavior approach to studying customer relationships. Switching is the departure of the approach to customer relationship and switching is recalled as a switching process (switching path) and includes accordingly both the switched-from and switched-to relationships. This perspective represents a gap in the literature on customer relationships.

Method development

The field of interest includes method development for mapping relationships, the qualitative method for the purpose is labelled SPAT (Switching Path Analysis Technique, 1999). The quantitative enlargement is done at CTF, (Centrum för Tjänsteforskning/Center for Service Research) in Sweden and aims at achieving a new-generation loyalty model that includes a trigger function which is based on the catalytic nature of the “Switching-path logic” (SPAT). Published in Journal of Marketing 2005/October.

Customer Clubs

The special area of loyalty programs that is labelled customer clubs are one part of the general loyalty research. Customer clubs have been the focus during a few years and resulted in two publications. A special modification of SPAT called the SPAT mechanism was applied to customer relationships with the special attention to customer clubs. The findings show the role of customer clubs in telecom-customers’ relationships. The role appeared to be more complex compared to the assumed function of the club.

Loyalty

2002- The direct implication of the method development for mapping customer relationships was to look at the implication of the Trigger logic for the loyalty research. The long-term empirical studies amongst telecom customers, 6 years, have revealed an interesting switching pattern. Customers seem to follow a certain pattern not only when they switch but also when they stay loyal. The customer-perceived triggers tell already at the switching moment much about the duration of the switched-to customer relationship.

Emotions

During 2005 and 2006 a new area of interest has been initiated. The role of emotions for customer relationships is in focus. SPAT has been applied to telecom-customer relationships and surprisingly many emotions have been connected to the switching situations. The results imply that relatively weak emotions influence frequent switching considerably. Stress, for example, is included in frequent switching.

Customer-Support Service

During 2005- 2006 a new project was initiated that focuses on the customer-support service function in telecommunication. This particular function is a part of almost every company in different industries. However, it is rarely studied. The perspective on customer-support service in this project is the customers’ which is achieved by applying the SPAT-mechanism. The customers’ perception of the importance of the function of customer support for the relationship duration is emphasized. Findings imply an interesting connection between a company’s image and their support service.

Active and passive customers

When the customers’ evaluation is related to actual behavior new insights occur. The fact that some customers are active while others are passive has been ignored when connecting customers’ evaluation to loyalty. The goal and simultaneously the outcome of the new project, LET (Loyalty Enhancing Tool), that takes into account actual behavior and active and passive customers is accordingly developed in two different kinds of organization. Today, customer evaluation of the focal companies is often understood in terms of high or low figures. In fact, valuable customer messages for companies are embedded in the evaluations, only an appropriate tool for being able to comprehend the communication is needed. The development of LET represents a big step towards a better understanding in companies for their customers in terms of distinguishing between important and less important factors for loyalty when improving their service. The difference between the behavior of active and passive customers is related to the fact that all factors are not equally important and interesting for customers in relationships with service providers. Passive customers are more likely to respond to market-focusing factors, and passivity is associated with instability in customer relationships. Active customers have definitive perceived arguments in their relationships and are more stable. However, development towards stability is possible if the argumentation becomes clearer. Customers need knowledge in order to develop clearer argumentation for or against the current relationship. Therefore, maintaining appropriate communication with customers is important in order to increase knowledge about their current relationships.

Service quality

The analysis of the concept of service and service characteristics shows that the definitions are too narrow and the characteristics are outdated as generic service characteristics. It is suggested that service is used as a perspective. When service is portrayed as a perspective, the approach is clear: it depends on who is portraying the service and on the purpose. If service characteristics are outdated, when will they stop being used in teaching? It is no longer necessary to defend services as being different from goods. Service is a research area in its own right.

Loyalty-enhancing Communication

Companies communicate with their customers in different ways. Marketing as a whole is one kind of communication as is loyalty programs and support service. Are the messages meaningful in companies’ marketing in terms of loyalty? The ongoing and latest project deals with loyalty-enhancing communication. Customers’ real behavior is the departure and is present as customers’ switching behavior. In other words, customers’ switching processes are mapped and analyzed.  Switching processes are divided into a sensitivity (trigger) part and into a communicative part. The insight of the difference between active and passive customers regarding their actual loyalty has resulted in a design of communication with according to a totally new plan. The new plan includes the active customers’ sensitivity content, which means the focus of their knowledge bank and the passive customers’ way of expressing themselves. The mix is made according to a precise blueprint and the text can be used in different marketing channels.

Blinds spots in customer relationships

The implication of triggers in customer relationships is that from both perspectives, from the customer as well as from the provider perspectives there are aspects of the relationships that are in “blind spots”. In this study this fact was pointed to by developing a conceptual tool to handle the invisible aspects of customer relationships.

SPAT (Switching Path Analysis Technique) applied to the B2B contex

This research focuses on the SPAT application to enlarge the understanding of customer switching from B-to-C context to the dynamics of B-to-B supplier switches. The approach proved the applicability of SPAT in B-to-B settings. The B-to-B context adds complexity forming a relationship flow where many driving factors act for switching. SPAT application appears to be more indistinct in the B-to-B contexts.
The B-to-B supplier switches appeared to be complex processes. The supplier should be able to constantly be aware of the major changes in the customers’ business. Based on this awareness, the supplier may actively affect the development of the relationship to avoid unwanted switches.

Loyalty Enhanced CRM-System

The interest in customers' needs in companies, is a continuous updating. The special basis used here is actual behaviour of your companies customers. CRM, Customer Relationship management, is a worn out expression, if not taken it onboard the contemporary situations. However when embedding the deep knowledge of customer behaviour an interesting new world occurs.
Modern CRM-Systems lacks the loyalty effect; they only concentrates on the contact and sales functions without a loyalty-enhancing function. The Properly-CRM program holds the loyalty enhancing function and stabilitates thereby the customer base by using the customers’ own preferences and their own behavior patterns.
www.properlycrm.fi

Public Transport

Using these two studies (Study 1 and Study 2), it has been possible to show that household members' travel behaviors are affected by one single household member's participation in a voluntary change program, and that the other household members in turn affect the participant. We are already able to find useful effects of household influence without including households actively in intervention programs. It may be speculated that active inclusion, in the form of household intervention programs, will, as a result, pave the way for potentially greater effects than those previously observed.