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Antecedents and benefits of preferred customer status with suppliers : a case study at a Dutch accounting firm

Mastebroek, V.G. (2016) Antecedents and benefits of preferred customer status with suppliers : a case study at a Dutch accounting firm.

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Abstract:The literature on preferred customer status suggests that buyers can receive many benefits from reaching this status. However, it has thus far focused mainly on manufacturing firms. This study aims to explore the antecedents and benefits of preferred customer status, and the effects of reputation, status and strategic fit on this status, in service firms. This is accomplished by a case study in a Dutch accounting firm and three of its suppliers, using semi-structured interviews. It was found that customer attractiveness and supplier satisfaction are antecedents to preferred customer status, but they are not sufficient. Reputation, status and strategic fit appear to increase customer attractiveness and thus are antecedents of preferred status. Size was found to be important as it has direct influence on several factors that influence attractiveness and satisfaction. Finally, there was evidence that some suppliers do not support having preferred customers at all, as only one of three suppliers deliberately treats some customers better. The outcomes suggest that service firms can also benefit from preferred status. Small firms will have more difficulty than large firms to accomplish this. They will have to grow, or find another way of overcoming the disadvantage of their small size. The validity of the outcomes is limited by the possibility of self-report bias, and the results are not generalizable due to the small sample size. This study adds to the literature about preferred customer status in small firms and in service firms.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
University of Twente, Nederland
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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