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Discuss the Critical Factors Relating to Customer Expectations - Essay Example

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Discuss the Critical Factors Relating to Customer Expectations

The customer today has become more demanding and is only satisfied as long as his requirements are constantly met (Ward 1994). The success of a company largely depends on customer satisfaction and for this the businesses throughout the world are focusing on measuring and improving the satisfaction level of both internal and external customers. The expectations of the customers are simple; all they desire are timely quality solutions within budget. Meeting these expectations results in customer satisfaction. The basic condition for delivering superior service is to understand customer expectations; customers have preconceived expectations when judging a firm’s service. The Theory of Expectations is the most commonly accepted theory in this regard. It states that the customer has a predetermined standard of expectations and the satisfaction or dissatisfaction results from a comparison between these predetermined sets of expectations and the actual performance of the product or the service (Swamidass 2000). Given the fact that the extent to which customer expectations are met will decide their level of satisfaction from the services, it is very important to understand their expectation in the first place and then to deliver on those expectations (Rai 2007). Keiningham and Vavra (2001) further explain that the customer satisfaction can be broadly categorized into three zones: the zone of pain where the customer expectations are not met; the zone of mere satisfaction where, although the customer expectations are met, but the company is not offering anything unique which would distinguish itself from others in the market. In this case the customers can easily switch over to similar products offered by other companies and finally is the zone of delight. The zone of delight is that where the customer expectations are not only fully met but are exceeded, which leads to customer loyalty and word of mouth marketing. For instance, iPhones and iPads are more popular among people because the Apple Store has a greater content of music, films, books, TV shows and other multimedia apps which the users can download directly (Arthur 2012); these are the extra services which ensure customer expectations are exceeded. Types of Customer Expectations Jugulum and Samuel (2010) have stated the customer expectations to be of three types: performance, perceptions and outcome expectations. The first two expectations are linked to the products delivered to the customers and for this reason are also known as the product expectations. The third type of expectation – the outcome expectation – exists in the absence of the products as well. The performance expectations can be measured and revolve around the quality of the product, cost and availability. The second type of expectations or the perception expectations are unclear and difficult to measure expectations; user friendliness of a product, its look and feel, durability and timelessness and also ease of doing business come under these types of customer expectations. According to Jugulum and Samuel (2010), most of the perception expectations can be measured and once a framework for measuring them is established, they become performance expectations. The outcome expectations are the results a customer desires through the use of the product or by working with a particular provider. The outcome expe ...Show more

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Discuss the critical factors relating to Customer Expectations and the ways in which organizations can ensure that these expectations are consistently met or exceeded Customers are users of products and services provided by businesses. Every customer has some expectations from the product he/she uses…
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