Why does service tend to be harder for a customer to evaluate than physical goods? Physical goods are easier to evaluate, because either they perform the job for which they were intended or they do not. Service is more difficult to evaluate, because everyone has a different service level expectiation. For example, if a company provides straight-forward all-business service, it may attract people who do not have a lot of time and just want to get in and get with as little hastle as possible. However, the same company may drive other people away, because the company may appear to be unfriendly.
The best customer service is to give the customer exactly what they want exactly when they want it. Unfortunatly, that might not be the best option for the business if everyone wants stuff for free. The company must do their best to find the blend that works best for their business model and for their customers.
Customer expectations and satisfaction are closely related. Customers feel less satisfied when they expect something from a company but do not get what they expected. On the other hand, if they have low expectations of a company and are pleasantly surprised, they may feel more satisfied than if they had high expectations and feel they have been let down. Interestingly, companies are not always able to accurately predict what customers will expect from them, and systems of gathering and analyzing feedback are typically important. Often, a customer's level of satisfaction is dependent on the expectations he has for a company. For example, if he expects a company to offer prompt service, but he encounters delays in the processing of his order, he may feel unsatisfied. Likewise, if he believes a company will provide a quality product and his purchase seems cheaply made, he may feel unhappy. Additionally, a customer may feel dissatisfied with a company if he believes his business is valued, but a company proves otherwise by allowing its employees to ignore him,...
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