Development of methods and tools for monitoring and analyzing customer data
The market in today’s world is dominated by customers and their requirements. Customer feedback is essential for manufacturing companies trying to establish a foothold in the service environment. New product development is often recognized as the trump card held by most manufacturing companies that allow them to gain a competitive edge over their rivals in the market. Utilizing customer’s feedback in new product development is a step that many companies are taking to be able to satisfy customer needs and requirements which enables the companies to firstly, retain the customers and secondly, bring in new business. Interviewing customers for feedback is a very common method employed by service companies to be able to capture and store data which is then analyzed to identify any patterns emerging i.e. any particular features preferred, any features disliked, etc. This thesis uses interviews as a method to be able to capture feedback from the customers which can then be utilized in new product development.
The basis of this thesis is formed by developing a method for analyzing and monitoring customer data. The customer perceives a product or a service based on his/ her experience in using it and hence forms an opinion on it. This thesis mainly focuses on interacting with internal operators (Volvo CE employees who participated in a previous measurement) to understand and collect their feedback of the product, the L220F wheel loader, as an example to develop the method, due to the fact that “real” customers are not as easy to reach and interview. The data collected will then be compared to logged data of the product usage by these operators. Finding a correlation between the answers to the interviews and the measured data will help identify the gaps in how the wheel loader is used by operators of different skill levels and how it can be used. If successful, this method can then be utilized on external customers of Volvo CE and also on other products manufactured by Volvo CE.
The conclusions drawn from this thesis are that while all customers must be equally considered while taking feedback, whether they are professionals or rookies, Volvo CE should rate their answers differently while designing a new product to meet customer requirements. Also, what could be seen from the clustering is that more heterogeneous groupings of operators are formed wherein no one cluster is made up of purely one class of operators.
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