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Risk Reduction And Relationship - Bonding When Marketing And Buying Industrial Services

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  • Communication


Literature on the buying and marketing of services by industrial customers is rapidly developing. So far, the differences between product and services buying and marketing has been investigated. As such, the purchasing literature focused on the buying process for industrial services and the composition of the decision making unit. Also the way in which the quality of services is perceived by buyers differs from product quality perception. Such differences are due to the increased risk industrial customers perceive when buying services. Uncertainty of buyers pertains to the trustworthiness of potential suppliers, their know-how, the contents of what is actually bought, the quality of delivery (both outcome and process quality), the compatibility of the service provider, their contact with users, availability of capacity, and so on. The rather scarce literature on industrial marketing of services has shown how companies selling these services try to minimize the side effects of heterogeneity, intangibility, etc. Further, attention has been spent on quality issues and on a dynamic approach to services as part of a relationship building effort. Based on focus group interviews with buyers from different sectors of industry we will try to list a number of risk reduction strategies used by industrial service customers. We will also investigate the useage of these strategies quantitatively. In a next stage, both recommendations for implementation as well as an agenda for further research will be presented

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