‘Customer satisfaction’ is basically used to measure how well the expectations of a customer are fulfilled by utilizing the products and services of a company. Customer satisfaction acts as an important performance indicator of a business and is also one of the four perspectives that together constitute a ‘balanced scorecard’.
In other words, customer satisfaction means how much the customer is pleased with the performance and delivery of products, and services offered by the company. ‘Gap Model’ is used most frequently in order to measure the level of customer satisfaction. The equation given below defines the gap model:
Customer Satisfaction = Delivery – Expectations
The term Delivery denotes the opinion that a customer constructs, regarding the product and service, after consuming it. Whereas, Expectations denotes what customer had expected from the product and service offered by the company. Hence, customer satisfaction is the ‘gap’ or difference between his expectations and what he or she actually received.
Factors Influencing Customer Satisfaction
- Quality: The extent to which the quality meets the promises made by the firm will result in the fulfillment of customer’s expectations from the products and services. This could include the factors such as reliability, usefulness, low maintenance, durability for products; in case of services, this could include the factors such as reliability, acceptable provision levels, and accessibility and so on.
- Value for Money: The value of the money can be judged on the basis of a comparative scale by putting manufacturer or supplier on one side and customers’ perspective on the other.
- Reliability: When the service employees are able to deliver the service by accomplishing constant performance and dependability, then the customer satisfaction can be accomplished.
- Responsiveness: Customers look for greater help at the point of sale and after-sales services. This will require personal attention, fast response, and flexibility.
- Access: Customers must not face many difficulties in reaching the service provider. They might have some experience in dealing with the mechanized answering services but they may dislike waiting for long periods of time, in queues or telephone calls. They prefer human interaction that can revert to their queries and complaints quickly.
- Communication: It is very important that whenever they contact the firm for the solution of their problem, they must have listened promptly.
- Credibility: It can result in greater satisfaction. This can be attained with the help of knowledgeable and courteous staff members and the skills to induce confidence and trust.
Benefits of Customer Satisfaction
- Customer-Oriented Management: Customers share their objectives, requirements, and experiences when the company performs the customer satisfaction analysis. With the help of this, a company can develop or improve the product and services to much the expectation level of customers.
- Comparison with the Competitors: In order to gain information about the competitors, customers are considered to be the best source because customers can give information about the better products and services available in the market and also do not ask for any payment against it.
- Loyalty: Customers who are extremely satisfied with the product or service of a company are more likely to become the loyal customers of that company. A brand loyal customer goes for repetitive purchases and gives positive feedback, ratings, or reviews to the company.