Impact of Support Services on End-users’ Satisfaction
Research paper Purpose Despite the increased outsourcing of support services and their growing impact on the business industry, academic research on support services is not extensive. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of support services on the satisfaction of end-users – i.e. customers of the service organization purchasing the support services. Design Our research includes the visibility of support services to end-users and the importance attached by them, to investigate their impact on end-users’ satisfaction. Findings First, our research indicates that visible support services considered important by end-users are more critical to the purchasing organization than initially considered. Second, the performance of the support services supplier has a significant impact on the end-users’ satisfaction with the business service delivered by the service organization. Research implications Future research is needed to further explore the area of criticality of support services and their impact on end-users’ satisfaction and to establish a measurement scale for customer satisfaction in B2B services. Practical implications Support services can be critical to the purchasing organization. Therefore, the selection of an outsourcing partner should include more aspects than just price; the opinion of the endusers can be an additional selection criterion. Value of the paper This paper brings the concept of customer satisfaction into the field of B2B services. Moreover, this study contributes to the research field of support services by investigating their importance to the purchasing organization and by relating them to the end-users’ satisfaction. to be stationary. Our research is performed in the context of a financial services provider and analyzes the post-complaint periods of 2,326 customers. Our findings indicate that (i) it is interesting to consider complainants since they represent a typical and rather active customer segment, (ii) furthermore, it is beneficiary to invest in complaint handling, since these investments are likely to influence customers’ future behavior and (iii) survival forests are a helpful tool to investigate the impact of complaint handling on future customer behavior, since its components provide evidence of changing effects over time.
Support Services, Outsourcing, Business services, Customer Satisfaction
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