Customer relationship management from the perspective of a trackless mining equipment maintenance organisation
Van Tonder, Francois Petrus
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This study deals with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) of a department of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of trackless mining equipment. The study was done from the service deliverer's perspective. The aim of the study was to determine an effective Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) in order to assist the OEM to deliver superior satisfaction to its customers in the Aftermarket service delivery environment. It also aims to determine what the OEM needs to do to meet the customers' demands in order to develop a meaningful relationship for both the customer and the service provider. The gap in the perceptions of the customers and the perceptions of the managers of the OEM's Aftermarket service contracts were identified, to reveal the Key Performance Areas (KPAs) for improvement. In order to reveal these KPAs, a literature study was conducted, as a first part of the study. The literature study also helped to create a better understanding of CRM, superior customer value and satisfaction in the service environment. The second part of the study consisted of an empirical investigation. Customers and managers of the OEM's Aftermarket service contracts had to complete questionnaires. Completed questionnaires were received from the total population of the customers and managers. The analysis of the database that was compiled from the questionnaire's responses was done by using Microsoft's ® Office 2007 Suite, supported by Levine, Stephan, Krehbiel and Berenson's textbook Statistics for Managers Using Microsoft ® Excel. The analysis identified a significant difference in seven out of the seventy-eight aspects, in the responses from the customers' perceptions versus the perceptions of the OEM's managers. The analysis also provided a base for the CSI. The combination of these aspects and the CSI exposed five KPAs which need to be improved by the service provider to meet the customers' demands. Improvement of the exposed five KPAs will assist to develop a meaningful relationship for both the customer and the service provider. This study recommended that the OEM develops an action plan based on the climate survey that was done in 2008 in the company and that the OEM improves the communication to the customers related to the OEM remuneration strategy. Furthermore, it was recommended that the importance of the information provided is emphasised by changing the reporting lines, that the defects with regard to the service exchange components' repairs are reported according to the ISO9001 system. A further recommendation is that the benefits to the customer to promote the OEM's service contracts should be communicated to the customer. Lastly, training to the OEM's managers to manage a service level agreement (SLA) successfully was recommended.
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