Dr. Gerrit Cziehso represented the MCM at the first smart products conference in Bielefeld

In August 2019, the International Conference on Challenges in Managing Smart Products and Services (CHIMSPAS) was hosted by the University of Bielefeld (Jun.-Prof. Nicola Bilstein). With two conference days, including twelve presentations, two invited talks and a fascinating tour though the CITEC (Exzellenzcluster Kognitive Interaktionstechnologie), participants and visitors agreed that the event was a great success. 

Together with Professor Tobias Schäfers (Copenhagen Business School and on the right in the picture), Dr. Gerrit Cziehso (on the left in the picture) presented the joint research project „Smart services, smart customer community, less support costs? Examining the economic impact of a firm-sponsored online community on traditional customer support“. The research is also co-authored by Dr. Ann-Kristin Kupfer (WWU Münster) and Fabian Ottinger (TU Dortmund).

„Our goal is to understand how online communities can help companies selling products that need a lot of explanation“, Dr. Cziehso said. Smart products are commonly more complex and thus require a lot of knowledge by customers as well as their input during operations. This complexity often leads to a higher demand for the technical support (e.g. call-center) of a company selling smart products. For these reasons, the research team investigates how firm-sponsored online communities can be used in order to reduce the capacity of companies’ customer support. In particular, the team is interested in investigating the evolution of online communities over time and their effect on incoming calls and mails in the call-center.