A Literature Review and Critique on Customer Satisfaction

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A Literature Review and Critique on Customer Satisfaction
LIU Huiqun1, ZHAO Xin2 1. School of Economics, Tianjin University of Commerce, Tianjin, China, 300134 2. Department of Economics and Management, Dezhou Vocational and Technological College, Dezhou, China, 253000 huiqunliu@tjcu.edu.cn Abstract: The concept of customer satisfaction has attracted much attention in recent years. Organizations that try to analyze this concept should begin with an understanding of various customer satisfaction models. In this paper, the emphasis is on reviewing the main concepts and models of customer satisfaction. Keywords: Customer satisfaction, Definition, Macro-models, Micro-models

1 Introduction
Both public and private sectors have given much attention to the concept customer satisfaction in the past couple of decades. Naturally, administrators have requested their staff to do customer satisfaction studies for their own organizations. An analyst or researcher must operationalize the concept of customer satisfaction in order to measure it. More importantly, in order to have validity for any measurements, the analyst needs to assume some model of the subject matter. The analyst must use very explicit conceptualizations of the subject matter (in other words, models) if she/he expects to do research and analysis that has relevance for organizational decisions. This paper is divided into several sections. First, a brief review of main concepts of customer satisfaction is provided. Next, we try to provide the analyst an overview of models of customer satisfaction. Finally, the article concludes with main research findings.

2 Consumer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction has been a popular topic in marketing practice and academic research since Cardozo's (1965) initial study of customer effort, expectations and satisfaction. Despite many attempts to measure and explain customer satisfaction, there still does not appear to be a consensus regarding its definition (Giese and Cote, 2000). Customer satisfaction is typically defined as a post consumption evaluative judgement concerning a specific product or service (Gundersen, Heide and Olsson, 1996). It is the result of an evaluative process that contrasts prepurchase expectations with perceptions of performance during and after the consumption experience (Oliver, 1980). The most widely accepted conceptualization of the customer satisfaction concept is the expectancy disconfirmation theory (McQuitty, Finn and Wiley, 2000). The theory was developed by Oliver, who proposed that satisfaction level is a result of the difference between expected and perceived performance. Satisfaction (positive disconfirmation) occures when product or service is better than expected. On the other hand, a performance worse than expected results is dissatisfaction (negative disconfirmation). Studies show that customer satisfaction may have direct and indirect impact on business results. Luo and Homburg (2007) concluded that customer satisfaction positively affects business profitability. The majority of studies have investigated the relationship with customer behaviour patterns (Dimitriades, 2006; Olorunniwo et al., 2006; Chi and Qu, 2008; Faullant et al., 2008). According to these findings, customer satisfaction increases customer loyalty, influences repurchase intentions and leads to positive word-of-mouth. Given the vital role of customer satisfaction, it is not surprising that a variety of research has been devoted to investigating the determinants of satisfaction. Satisfaction can be determined by subjective (e. g. customer needs, emotions) and objective factors (e. g. product and service features). Applying to the hospitality industry, there have been numerous studies that examine attributes that travellers may find

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important regarding customer satisfaction. Atkinson (1988) found out that cleanliness, security, value for money and courtesy of staff determine customer satisfaction. Knutson (1988)...
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