In this paper we investigate the application of the concepts of customer experience and co-creation for SME’s in the B2B-sector. Based on a systematic review of extant research on the subject of customer experience we will recognize that customer experience management can be a new way for organizations to create a competitive advantage, simultaneously creating more value for their customers. We will introduce a conceptual framework for a better understanding of the concept, identifying several elements that have to be taken into account in customer experience management, i.e. the types, levels, and strengths of experience; the tacit and measurable outcomes of a great customer experience for the firm; the methods to measure CX; the conditions to execute customer experience management; the possibilities for customer experience management by the firm, such as the management of experience providers and the application of the customer journey approach to gain insights in customers’ experience; and, finally, the role that customers have in customer experience management. With this latter element of our framework we will be able to cross the bridge from customer experience to customer co-creation, in particular the co-creation of experiences in NPD. Reflecting these insights on SME practice will teach us what small and medium-sized enterprises can do to apply customer experience management. In that respect, we will observe that research has not reached a sufficient level of knowledge to aid firms in achieving this goal. We intend to further investigate the application of customer experience concepts in SME in ongoing studies.
Auteurs: Ron J.A. Journée and Marcel E.A. Weber