Customer Satisfaction Meaning, Determinants and Factors

Factors Influencing Customer Satisfaction 

Customer Satisfaction Meaning, Determinants and Factors

One of the important elements of the post-purchase stage is satisfaction. Satisfaction is the customer’s situation of being adequately compensated in a purchasing situation for the sacrifices made by him. Adequacy of satisfaction is measured by comparing actual experiences of previous purchases and consumption with the expected need-satisfying capability of the brand. There are various definitions and approaches which are accepted widely and can be used to explain the concept of satisfaction.

According to Hunt, “Satisfaction is a kind of stepping away from an experience and evaluating it. One could have a pleasurable experience that caused dissatisfaction because even though it was pleasurable, it was not as pleasurable as it was supposed or expected to be. So satisfaction/dissatisfaction isn’t an emotion, it’s the evaluation of an emotion.”

At the stage of post-purchase, customers are either satisfied or dissatisfied with their purchase. Every customer has some specific expectations from the products and services, some of which are explained below: 

1) The quality and functioning of the products and services, i.e., the expected advantages that a product can provide.

2) The efforts and the cost to be spent before achieving the direct benefits from the products and services

3) The cost and social benefits that a customer can receive as an outcome of buying the product or service, i.e., an expected benefit for society and other people, from the purchase of the product.

Customer Satisfaction Meaning

The term customer satisfaction is used to measure how well the expectations of a customer are fulfilled by utilising the products and services of a company. Customer satisfaction acts as an essential performance indicator of a business and is also one of the four perspectives that together constitute a balanced scorecard.

Marketing professionals consider customer satisfaction to be the foremost point of interest. In other words, customer satisfaction means how much the customer is pleased with the performance and delivery of products and services offered by the organization.

It is the foremost goal of any business to ensure that its customers are happy and satisfied with their products or services. Customer satisfaction is an important factor that determines the success of a business. It is the key to building a loyal customer base and establishing a positive reputation in the market.

“Gap Model” is most frequently used to measure the level of customer satisfaction. The equation given below describes the gap model:

Customer Satisfaction = Delivery – Expectations

The term delivery refers to the perception that a customer forms about a product or service after using it, while expectations refer to what the customer had expected from the product or service offered by the company. Hence, customer satisfaction is the difference between what the customer expected and what they received.

To ensure customer satisfaction, it is important to manage their expectations and deliver a product or service that meets or exceeds their expectations. This can be achieved by providing clear and accurate information about the product or service, setting realistic expectations, and delivering on promises made to the customer by the company.

For example, if a customer bought a product which he thought will last for 3 months but it lasted for 6 months, this will make the customer feel much more satisfied. On the other hand, if the same product lasts only for 1 month, then the customer may feel extremely discontented. Hence, expectations can be considered as a base point for measuring customer satisfaction.

By understanding the significance of delivery and expectations, businesses can enhance their customer satisfaction and can build a loyal customer base. It is important to remember that customer satisfaction is not just about meeting their needs but also about exceeding their expectations.

Factors Influencing Customer Satisfaction 

Four factors, as identified by the marketing researchers that impact customer satisfaction are as follows:

Factors Influencing Customer Satisfaction 

1) Product (Basic Design): The product is the basic factor that influences customer satisfaction. So, companies must design products and services according to the requirements of customers.

2) Sales Activity: Sales activity such as advertisement of the product, promotional programmes, supply or delivery channel to reach out to the customer, etc., also influence the satisfaction level of customers.

3) After-Sales: After-sales service also plays an important role in satisfying the needs of customers. It involves guarantee, service, and grievance handling. feedback, and a complete solution to all sorts of customer problems.

4) Culture: Customer satisfaction is also influenced by the culture of the organisation. Culture not only includes fundamental values and principles of an organisation, but it also includes methods through which the organisation attempts to impart those values in the behaviour of employees at various levels.

Related Post:- Importance of Customer Satisfaction

Determinants of Customer Satisfaction 

Various factors determine customer satisfaction, some of them are explained below:

1) Features of Products and Services: Customers feel satisfied when they evaluate products and services based on their features. For example, a customer can evaluate a hotel based on many of its features such as the facility for playing golf, pool area, comfortable rooms, privacy, restaurants, politeness and helpfulness of staff, tariffs, etc. 

2) Consumer Emotions: Emotions of consumers also play an important role in determining customer satisfaction with the products and services offered. Sometimes emotions exist beforehand such as temperament, life situations, etc., while some may develop after consuming the product.

3) Attributions for Service Success or Failure: Customer satisfaction is also determined by how the customer perceives the reasons behind the occurrence of any event. When the outcome of any service surprises the customer, i.e. either the service does not meet the expectation or it goes beyond the level, then the customer starts searching for the reasons behind such an outcome. That evaluation of the reasons may impact the level of satisfaction.

4) Perceptions of Equity or Fairness: The opinion of a customer regarding fairness, equality, etc., also determines customer satisfaction, where the principle of fairness plays a key role in determining the opinion of the customer regarding a product.

5) Other Consumers, Family Members, and Co-workers: Customer satisfaction is not only influenced by the features of the product or service and the belief or emotions of the customer but also by other people such as family members, co-workers and other consumers. For example, on a vacation trip, the satisfaction level of a person also depends on the behaviour and responses of members during the trip.

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