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Customer expectations of remote maintenance services in the medical equipment industry

Stefanie Paluch (Department of Service and Technology Management, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 14 October 2014




Original equipment manufacturers offer maintenance services such as remote diagnostics to extend their portfolio. The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate requirements and expectations regarding remote services (RSs) for maintaining complex high-tech equipment from a users’ point of view.


A qualitative interview study based on 30 interviews and observations at 11 organizations in the healthcare industry was conducted in order to get a holistic understanding of requirements and expectations of the new service technology.


This study shows that the focus on providing high-technology services is not sufficient to increase customer's usage, soft factors such as personal interaction, integration, and individualization are main expectations for customers in the medical equipment industry. The expectations are concentrated in seven propositions.

Research limitations/implications

The interviews were conducted only in the healthcare industry. Even though is it possible to generalize the findings and transfer them to other sectors, a large-scale empirical survey should be conducted in different industries to verify the qualitative results.

Practical implications

A framework for manager and service provider is set up that can help to improve the service offerings according to specific customer expectations.


The paper provides an original perspective on a new service technology that facilitates remote maintenance of complex high-tech equipment. Through in-depth interviews, the author generates valuable insights that help to advance RS technologies.



Paluch, S. (2014), "Customer expectations of remote maintenance services in the medical equipment industry", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 639-653.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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