Breaking the Customer Code A Model to Translate Customer Expectations into Specification Limits

Ruben Gregorio
Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB, Finspong, Sweden \ Division of Quality Technology and Management, Linköping Institute of Technology, Linköping, Sweden

Peter Cronemyr
Division of Quality Technology and Management, Linköping Institute of Technology, Linköping, Sweden

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Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 33:49, s. 583-597

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Publicerad: 2008-12-09


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to develop a model to help service organizations to set the specification limits according to the customer expectations.

Design/methodology/approach: A review of relevant literature is used to develop a new integrated model with ideas from the Kano model; SERVQUAL; Taguchi loss function; Importance Performance Analysis (IPA) and a new model; “the Trade-Off Importance”. A survey was carried out for 18 external customers and internal stakeholders of the Service Division of Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB in Finspong; Sweden.

Findings: The model has demonstrated its robustness and credibility to set the specification limits. Additionally it is a very powerful tool to set the strategic directions and for service quality measurement.

Research limitations: First; articles published on this subject are few and there is no similar model in the literature to confirm or compare results. The proposed model must be further validated in future research. Second; this study is applied in a single service division; with a relatively small sample. Ideal research should be conducted using multiple industries in order to ensure that the model is generalizable.

Originality/value: As far as we know; this paper is the first attempt to create a roadmap to set the specification limits in services. Researchers should find the proposed model to fill the research gap. From a managerial standpoint; the practical benefits in Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB; suggest a new way of communicating to customers. The model will also improve the target setting in the Six Sigma projects.


Customer satisfaction; Service industries; Six Sigma; Specification limits; Kano model; SPC


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