Customer expectation and satisfaction

8 August 2016

The purpose of this report is to show and understand the customer’s expectations while consuming a service and the satisfaction level of the customer. In this case, a consumer experiences a particular service at a hairdressing saloon. The customer expectations are compared with actual outcome. In addition, the report also defines and explains SERVQUAL and relates it to the service diary. The service dairy is made to show the importance of a service to a customer and it provides information related to the expectations and what really happened during the consumption of the service.

Hence, it is possible to analyze the satisfaction level of each element as well as the service quality of the service. Customer service includes task-orientated actions that involve interactions with clients in person or by technology for the purpose of service ‘manufacture’, ‘delivery’ and service support (Lovelock 2011). The service standard of a firm is very important in response to competitive pressures. Firms should be able to convert consumer’s expectations into specific behaviors and actions.

Customer expectation and satisfaction Essay Example

For the customer service of an organization to be good, it needs to have good and reliable employees. The report analyses the experience that happened at A-saloon, a hair saloon with details about the customer and the pre-consumption stage, consumption stage and post-consumption stage. It relates the customer’s expectations before the service and what happened during the consumption, whether the consumer’s expectations were met or not and satisfaction of the customer, whether the consumer is satisfied about the service of A-saloon. Analysis and recommendation

SWOT Analysis Strengths One of the strengths of A-Saloon is its location. People get easy access to the area through bus and train even if they do not drive there. In addition, it is located in a shopping gallery. Therefore, customers would go for haircut and shopping at the same time, which encourages customers to go for these kinds of saloons because during their waiting time they can also go around the mall. In addition, the staffs are well experienced and also they have different prices for different staffs. For example, less experienced staffs are cheaper.

In addition to this, A-Saloon has a good marketing, good operation and client management. Weaknesses Although the staffs are well experienced, they are sometimes rude to customers and hence this might make the customer unhappy and the saloon might lose customers. Furthermore, the washing area and the decor of the saloon were out of date. Upgrading the saloon will be a better idea and hence customers will appreciate the saloon much more. Apart from this, there is lack of control on weekends due to lots of customers. Poor customer care may delay the hair salon’s revenue. Opportunities

While the strengths and weaknesses are internal parts of the hair salon analysis, the opportunities and threats of the SWOT assess the external aspects of the salon. Advertising around the area and throughout the mall is a good opportunity to create customer awareness. There is no need to advertise on the internet only. In addition, upgrading the saloon and introducing new hair styles and new product brands is an opportunity to pull new customers. Threats This is an external situation that can cause harm to the saloon. For example, a new hair saloon opening in the mall.

But although A-saloon cannot force the new saloon to move, it can still create new strategies to lead the market and do not lose its customers and at the same time brings new customers. These might include new promotions and specials, coupon and promoting customer’s benefits. Expectation Customer expectations are views about the upcoming occasions which, when compared with the current service delivered, are assumed to influence satisfaction of overall service quality (Coye, 2004, p. 54). Before consuming the service, the consumer had high expectations because A-Saloon advertisement was impressing.

However, after consumption the consumer rates an average satisfaction for the service provided. Customer expectation is am important part for delivering services because each consumer evaluates a service quality by comparing their expectations to the service delivered (Robedo, 2001, p. 22). The consumer wants the service to be delivered as promised, hence while delivering a service one should manage expectations. Therefore most service businesses that promise a service try to prevent customer to be dissatisfied and increase satisfaction (Lovelock, 2011, p.

327). Zeithaml (1993) stated that consumers assess service quality from expectation before the consumption and the actual service. The four main features of services, intangibility, heterogeneity, perishability and inseparability increase risks by a great proportion in the purchase of a service and at the same time it decreases certainity (Mitchell, 1993). Relating to service firms, risks are hard to be bared because the product is intangible. Hence, measuring the service quality is challenging because of their intangibility (Mahapatra, 2006).

Therefore, in this case, the expectations of the customer were almost met. Hence, the customer is overall satisfied with the service provided by A-saloon. Almost all expectations were met except one of the staff was a bit rude but apart from these small matters all were good. Customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction is the consumer’s post-consumption evaluation of a particular service experience. It is a step where the consumer’s expectations, needs and desires are met or exceeded. Satisfaction is linked to the gap between a customer’s pre-purchase expectations and the actual service (Lovelock, 2011 p. 64).

Satisfaction is divided into two categories: Overall satisfaction and transaction specific satisfaction, where overall satisfaction is the consumers overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service provided from the organization based on experiences and specific organization. However, transaction specific satisfaction is the evaluation of a specific service experienced (Lovelock 2011). Customer satisfaction occurs when the evaluation of a customer’s post-consumption ratings exceed his expectations from pre-consumption stage. Normally, if a customer appreciates this, he tends to be loyal and hence he repeats buy.

In addition, the consumer talks positive about the organization and this lowers the costs of the organization to attract new customers. This is because consumers have positive feelings about a particular brand and hence share the brand to his friends and relatives (Lovelock 2011). In this case, overall the customer is satisfied because his expectations were almost same to the actual service. Even though the service delivered by A-saloon did not exceed his expectations, he stated that he would be a loyal customer to A-Saloon and also recommend other people.

Only in certain parts the consumer shows dissatisfaction. In determining satisfaction with a service, emotion is also an important part (Liljander, 1997 p. 148). Hence, the consumer in this case is in positive mood because based on the appendix, which is the service diary, the consumer had a good rating for A-saloon and he knows that it was a weekend and some inconveniences happened. Therefore, according to the customer, the service can further be enhanced. He also stated that he will recommend friends to A-saloon, hence this is a good perception because he is mostly satisfied with the service provided.

Service environment Mehrabian-Russell stimulus response model (Lovelock 2011, p. 293) shows responses of customer’s experiences of the environment where a service is being delivered. For example, in this case, the consumer stated that the saloon was well designed although the layout of outdated and also the lightings were good but only the washing area was dirty and the music’s volume was too low. Therefore, overall the service environment of A-saloon is good enough so that a customer feels at ease.

But if the saloon upgrade, customers will be more entertained to go there and hence A-saloon will have an increase in number of customers. However, still the saloon is operating and lots of consumers are going there for haircut because according to the service diary, the consumer states that the saloon was quite full on a Sunday afternoon. Service quality (SERVQUAL) Service quality is another aspect that contributes to satisfaction level of a consumer apart from expectations. It relates to managerial delivery of the service while satisfaction relates experiences of a particular service.

There is no relationship between service quality and consumer satisfaction. But service quality is an important part for managers to consider. The most common method is to use SERVQUAL scale in measuring service quality. There are five dimension of service quality, which are: Tangibles- appearance of physical elements, reliability- accurate performance, responsiveness- on time and helpfulness, assurance- credibility and security and empathy- easy access, consumer understanding and good communication (Lovelock 2011).

These dimensions are evaluated by a total of 21 elements. Each item is measured by responses to two statements that measure: the customer’s expectation of a service and the ratings customers give to the service after consumption. To develop the SERVQUAL scale and the SERVQUAL survey, these dimensions and statements are used. The survey uses a seven-point scale, from strongly agree to strongly disagree and when ratings are less than expected, it indicates poor quality service (Lovelock 2011).

The results of service quality are: to measure the service quality based on expectation score, weighted and unweighted, that is taking into account the degree of importance, to highlight good and bad components of the serve provided, to monitor quality as time goes by, to compare performance with competitors, to measure quality of the service at industry level, data and results may facilitate effective segmentation (Lovelock 2011).

However, there are some criticism of service quality, these are: the length of the questionnaire, limited application- specific attributes to be defined for some organisations, expectations are not always easy to make. Consumers sometime evaluate SERVQUAL online. This is based on: Accessibility, navigation, design and presentation of the website, currency and accuracy, responsiveness, content and purpose, level of interaction, reputation and security (Shohreh A. 2000).

Hence, in this case the consumer provided a scale rating in the service diary for the service delivered by A-saloon, which is a good rating, which means that consumers are entertained for A-saloon. Recommendation/Conclusion Therefore, in this report, customer satisfaction was used to analyze the level of satisfaction of the customer who went to A-saloon for a haircut. In addition, service quality was also defined and explained, but there was no proper SERVQUAL measurement done. The customer rated the service as overall a good service and according to the appendix, the customer states that he is willing to recommend friends to the saloon.

Therefore, A-saloon serves a good service and hence it is a good thing that will cause customers to be happy. A-saloon is strongly recommended to upgrade the saloon in order to attract more consumers and also the washing area needs to be improved so that consumers do not complain about it and consumers always talk positive about the saloon. This helps the saloon to save cost on advertising because its consumers are advertising for it already. In addition, A-saloon needs to have a better service during weekends and also needs to have better staffs so that consumers are happy and do not complain about any part of the service.

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