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Forest Products Society

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Publication: Journal of Forest Products Business Research
Authors: 0
Reference ID: Volume 3, Article No. 7
Publish Year: 2006
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Title: A Method to Assess and Prioritize Customer Needs Among Substitute Materials
Description:
Increasing the competitiveness of wood as a building material requires knowledge of quality improvements and/or product development needed to best satisfy customers. As such, information is needed regarding the impact on customer satisfaction of the fulfillment of different customer needs or requirements, especially relative to substitutes. This paper suggests the use of customer satisfaction modeling (CSM) for assessing end-consumer needs. The methodology is evaluated in the context of floorcoverings. Results suggest that CSM is well suited for extracting information necessary for prioritizing customer needs: importance/impact and performance data for attributes as well as for customer benefits. The study indicates the necessity of considering substitute materials not only for performance comparisons but substitutes may also reveal otherwise latent customer needs. Practical and functional benefits exert the greatest impact on customer satisfaction, for wood flooring as well as its closest substitutes, laminate and textile flooring. Study results suggest that hygiene and a low cost over the product life cycle are the customer benefits to improve for wood flooring manufacturers, as their importance is high and performance relatively low.

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