Customer satisfaction 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. In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting non-customers; measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace. (“Customer Satisfaction,” 2008)
The usual measures of customer satisfaction involve a survey with a set of statements using a Likert Technique or scale. Likert Technique is a psychometric response scale often used in questionnaires, and is the most widely used scale in survey research. The customer is asked to evaluate each statement and in term of their perception and expectation of performance of the organization being measured. (“Customer Satisfaction,” 2008)
From the Build –A – Bear workshop case stated that their retailer had implanted an innovative Guest Satisfaction program that is tied to financial rewards for the Workshop managers. They think that guest satisfaction increase is the best indicator of how truly successful it is.
2. Identify and discuss the role of technology in the service encounter.
According to Fitzsimmons, J.A., & Fitzsimmons, M.J. (2008) the role of technology in the service encounter are technology- free service encounter, technology- assisted service encounter, technology- facilitated service encounter, technology- mediated service encounter and technology- generated service encounter. Figure 5.1, (pg4) displays the five modes in detailed.
The A mode is called technology- free service encounter, where the customer is in physical proximity to and interacts with a human service provider. This mode represents the traditional high- touch service that we experience at a hairdresser salon or chiropractor in which technology does not play a direct role. Most personal care service falls into this category, along with some professional service such as law, consulting, and psychiatry.
The B mode is called technology-assisted service encounter, because only the service provider has access to the technology to improve the quality of face- to- face service. A health care procedure such as an MRI scan or office visit to an optometrist falls into this mode. Traditionally, airline representatives used a computer terminal to check- in passengers, represented by mode B, but today passengers are encouraged to use check- in kiosks represented by mode E.
The C mode is called technology- facilitated service encounter, because both the customer and service provider have access to the same technology. For example, a financial planner in consultation with a client can refer to a financial model on a personal compute to illustrate projected returns for different risk profiles. The D mode, called technology- mediated service encounter, the customer and human service provider are not physically together and thus the service encounter no longer is the traditional face- to- face contact. Communication is usually enabled by a telephone call to access service such as making a restaurant reservation or getting
technical help from a distant call center. Consider, also, how clever use of remote monitoring using GPS (global positioning satellite) helps keeps track of the movements of parolees.
Finally, in mode E, called technology- generated service encounter, the human service provider is replaced entirely with technology that allows the customer to self- service. This mode is becoming more common as firms attempt to reduce the costs of providing service. Examples are ubiquitous- bank ATMs, checkout scanning,...