Thesis of Customer Satisfaction in Fast Food

Background Customer satisfaction, a business term, is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business and is part of the four perspectives of a Balanced Scorecard. In a competitive market place where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy.

Customer satisfaction is an ambiguous and abstract concept and the actual manifestation of the state of satisfaction will vary from person to person and product/service to product/service. The state of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables which correlate with satisfaction behaviors such as return and recommend rate. The level of satisfaction can also vary depending on other options the customer may have and other products against which the customer can compare the organization’s products.

Because satisfaction is basically a psychological state, care should be taken in the effort of quantitative measurement, although a large quantity of research in this area has recently been developed. Work done by Berry, Brodeur between 1990 and 1998 Marketing Services: Competing through Quality by Leonard L Berry, A Parasuraman defined ten ‘Quality Values’ which influence satisfaction behavior, further expanded by Berry in 2002 and known as the ten domains of satisfaction.

These ten domains of satisfaction include: Quality, Value, Timeliness, Efficiency, Ease of Access, Environment, Inter-departmental Teamwork, Front line Service Behaviors, Commitment to the Customer and Innovation. These factors are emphasized for continuous improvement and organizational  change  measurement  and  are  most  often  utilized  to  develop  the architecture  for satisfaction  measurement  as an  integrated  model.

Work done byParasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry between 1985 and 1988 provides the basis for the measurement of customer satisfaction with a service by using the gap between the customer’s expectation of performance and their perceived experience of performance. This provides the measurer with a satisfaction “gap” which is objective and quantitative in nature.

Work done by Cronin and Taylor propose the “confirmation/disconfirmation” theory of combining the “gap” described by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry as two different  measures  (perception  and  expectation  of  performance)  into  a  single measurement of performance according to expectation. According to Garbrand, customer satisfaction equals perception of performance divided by expectation of performance. Customer satisfaction, as a specialized practice, is over 25 years old.

Born out of the industry’s focus on the quality movement in the ’70s, the paradigm of linking satisfaction, loyalty and their impact on business outcomes has gone through many stages of development. All businesses want satisfied and loyal customers who want to do business with them not only because they get better value in terms of product, price and service, but also because these customers continue to have pleasant experiences in dealing with them. To assess and monitor these attitudes and expectations, businesses today conduct a wide variety of customer feedback surveys.

Customer satisfaction means providing goods and services to the customer which meets their level of expectation. So, neglecting customer and their demand can be dangerous for the existence of the organization. That is the significant reason why companies are paying attention to the customer satisfaction today. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to effectively manage customer satisfaction. To be able do this, firms need reliable and representative measures of satisfaction. In researching satisfaction, firms generally ask customers whether their product or service has met or exceeded expectations.

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