Gustav Medberg

Gustav Medberg

Researcher and teacher at the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management (CERS), Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics. Expert on service management and marketing.

Location Helsinki, Finland


  • Great to see such variety of backgrounds and experiences, keep on posting!

  • Thanks for all the nice reflections and feedback! Really interesting :) Any more thoughts? Please share!

  • Great insight @LinhTu :)

  • Thanks for your reflections, really nice! Any more thoughts or insights?

  • Note, however, that sometimes the customer and staff co-create value together. Think of for example a visit to the hair dresser!

  • Nice reflection, thanks!

  • I'm really glad to see that we have such a variety of learners with different sets of experiences and backgrounds in the course! Keep on posting!

  • Thanks for your feedback!

  • In the two below articles on the topic (also recommend as further reading in a previous step on ROR) real world cases from the second author's own consulting career are used as input for theory development:

    Grönroos, C. and Helle P. (2012), “Return on relationships: conceptual understanding and measurement of mutual gains from relational business...

  • Great quote!

  • We're glad to hear that you enjoyed the challenge, Richard!

  • Well done, Terry! Great tip to future students, thanks!

  • Nicely put, Adam!

  • Welcome everybody, I'm glad to see so many professionals with different backgrounds and experiences! Keep on posting!

  • Thanks for all the great feedback and comments! Any more thoughts on service cultures or the adoption of a service logic (even if you're a manufacturing company)?

  • Thanks everybody for the feedback!

  • Thanks for all your reflections! Any more thoughts?

  • Great to hear your experiences about this part of the course! Any more thoughts? And don't forget to post your "blog post" somewhere for the world to see it :)

  • Yes correct. This type of collaborative business relationships is most common in the B2B market. But companies can also collaborate in a similar way to provide an offering for the B2C market, as other learners have alluded to.

  • Great examples, Jyrki!

  • Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Any more definitions? As you all can see many of the definitions of marketing are extremely broad, and covers essentially everything from production to end-user consumption. And marketing is a broad subject, so nothing wrong with that. But what I personally like about Prof. Grönroos' definition is that it is very simple, straight-forward, and easy to remember...

  • Any more thoughts anyone?

  • Interesting reflections from all of you! Any more thoughts from other learners?

  • @SaroshAnsari Thanks for you feedback. You are completely correct that this isn't a basic course in marketing, which I think we mention in the course description. And sometimes the lectures are quite theoretically dense. If anyone gets stuck, please let us know and we'll try to explain these concept, models, and theories in more practical terms, and give...

  • Thanks for your question! Relationship costs are 'costs' beyond the price you as a customer might experience when doing business with a company. For example, if your bank fails to process a transaction you ordered (and payed for) you typically must spend time and energy to get this problem fixed. Or maybe you need to get a newer smartphone in order to use...

  • We're happy to see so many new learners in the course! There is still plenty of time to get started, learning at your own pace. Keep on posting!

  • Nice recent example of the excellent service culture at Singapore Airlines:

  • @SadiaJabeen Yes you are right, for some reason the platform does not allow deleting posts. But this is fine, thank you very much!

  • @SadiaJabeen Welcome to the course! But please delete all your duplicate comments, posted with this profile and with your private profile. Thanks!

  • @SadiaJabeen Thanks for your interesting thoughts! But it seems like you have already posted this (see comment below), can you please delete your duplicate post?

  • Well put, Jyrki!

  • You're absolutely right, Alina. Great example, very pedagogical!

  • Thanks everybody! Any more final thoughts?

  • Interesting, thanks for sharing Joanna!

  • An example that comes to my mind is the Volkswagen Group's (VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat) rapid expansion in Sweden in the early 2000s. They created great products that were in high demand, and thus the sales increased a lot, but they didn't focus enough on the after sales market. Thus, a lot of VW and Audi owners (in particularly as they typically had higher...

  • Great advices, everyone! Any more thoughts?

  • Thanks we will look into it.

  • You're welcome!

  • Now, what Prof. Grönroos really means in the above video is that customers often take the outcome of a service (solution to their problem) for granted and don't get very excited about this (e.g. the plumber fixes your water leak). Instead, what typically make customers very satisfied is a better than expected service delivery process (e.g. plumber comes...

  • A "hygiene factor" is commonly referred to in management and marketing research as something that must exist for satisfaction to arise (it can be satisfaction among employees or customers). But the hygiene factor itself cannot create satisfaction, but its absence easily creates dissatisfaction. In other words, a hygiene factor can been thought of as a sort of...

  • Nice example!

  • Good point, Peter!

  • A warm welcome to all new course participants!

  • Very interesting, thanks for sharing Peter!

  • Nice reflections! I find service productivity really interesting for the reason that it is so important, yet there is almost no research/models/theories on the topic. We know so much about productivity in its traditional sense (think manufacturing) but in comparison very little about service productivity. Still, the service industry nowadays constitute 70-80 %...

  • For all of you who have participated in different training programs and team-building activities, how well did you think they worked? Do you think these programs can be improved? If so, how?

  • Good ideas, James!

  • @lasisij and everybody else: copy/paste from Internet articles without citing sources is not OK. Please share only your own thoughts/comments/ideas. Or the link to the Internet article directly if you think your fellow learners can benefit from this information. Thanks!

  • Joanna, I think that is a nice illustration of how the remark 'Quality does not cost, but the lack of quality does' can be applied to a retail environment. I once worked in a large retail store, where everything was a mess and both the customers and the staff had difficulties finding all the products. I am sure the extra hours per week it would have taken to...

  • Any more thoughts anyone?

  • The topic of ROR is a bit complex, I definitely agree. But great that you still finished the week. This is the most difficult part of the course, and now it gets easier again next week, so hang in there :)

  • For those of you interested in real life application of ROR, and willing to dig a bit deeper into the literature on the topic, I recommend the two below articles (freely available as .pdf if you search with the references on Google Scholar):

    Grönroos, C. and Helle P. (2012), “Return on relationships: conceptual understanding and measurement of mutual gains...

  • Peter, ROR is quite complex indeed! But in a nutshell, it is all about mutually beneficial collaboration between businesses (typically large industrial companies). You can try to think of it as trying to reap the benefits of a merger, without the hassle of a merger, if you understand what I mean? We are not advocating any kind of anti-competitive market...

  • Yes ROR is a bit complex but try to hang in there. This is the most difficult module in the course, it gets easier again next week :)

  • Thanks for sharing your experience, Peter!

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Mustafa! Your example captures the essence of Prof. Grönroos' claim. Some people intuitively think the opposite is true - i.e. that high quality service always costs more - but then they typically equate "high quality" with "luxury services", or very exclusive services, which is not what the Prof. means.

  • Nice summary, George!

  • Tariq, if you think about it, the consumer nearly always influences the service delivery. Try to recall your own role in a recent service delivery, and you will probably realise that you indeed co-created/co-produced that service experience!

  • Welcome everybody, I'm glad to see so many professionals with different backgrounds and experiences! Keep on posting!

  • Great reflections and feedback everybody, thanks! I myself find the concept of marketing as 'promise management' very interesting and compelling. It captures the essence of what business is all about. And promise management is also easy to understand and apply for any practitioner, independent of line of business or industry.

  • Nicely put, Hellin!

  • Thanks everybody for sharing! Any more thoughts?