THE COMPONENTS OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN FAST FOOD INDUSTRY INTRODUCTION:
While the concept of customer satisfaction can be defined in different ways and can be classified in various methods, the common thing is that understanding and analyzing the factors that define and affect customer satisfaction can be looked at as a major marketing-related issue. Customer satisfaction is a term used to describe the positive emotions resulting from using a product/service in a way that met the customer's expectations regarding to this product (WTO, 1985; Pizam & Ellis 1999). This concept can be described sometimes as the heart of marketing and companies are realizing its importance and trying to improve their techniques regarding to this issue. According to Khan, satisfied customers will eventually become loyal customers (2012). So given the importance of the concept of customer loyalty in the process of marketing, one can understand why customer satisfaction concept is very important as it can be seen as the reasonable way to obtain loyal customers. Moreover, failing in this process can lead to dissatisfied customers. Peter and Olson explained how dissatisfaction can lead customers to explain their bad experiment with the product to manufactures, retailers and other customers (1987, as cited in Pizam & Ellis 1999). In fast food industry, the main way of success can be seen in obtaining as much satisfied customers as possible. And as this industry has expanded so much in the recent years, as a result of many factors (including more married women joining the workforce and the limited time resources of working people), identifying and analyzing the factors that affect customers satisfaction can be seen as a major way of gaining a competitive advantage in this expanding market place. This paper examines the major factors and variables that interact with customer satisfaction and then the role of effective marketing research in improving customer satisfaction and to better understand the needs of customers is to be discussed. The independent variables affecting customer satisfaction:
Khan described the relation between seven independent variables and customer satisfaction as a dependent variable. He included; promotion, service quality, customer expectation, brand, physical environment, price, and taste as the major components of customer satisfaction (2012). All of these components can be seen positively related to customer satisfaction. 1-Promotion:
Kurniawan sees in promotion an effective way to establish a healthy relationship with customers (2010 as cited in Khan 2012). In fact, if the promotions are used in a way to increase the customer confidence in the service, the effects on customer satisfaction will be obvious. Moreover, promotions should be designed in a way that helps customers to find what they are looking for. Kandampully explained how promotions can be related directly to customer satisfaction if they provide the customers clear information about discounts and special offers (2002 as cited in Khan 2012). Nowadays many firms try constantly to develop their techniques in creating effective promotions, and the active use of internet has also become a common way of creating successful promotional campaigns. 2-Service quality:
Even though the service quality can be seen as one of the most important factors affecting customer satisfaction the perception of this variable in fast food industry differs from one customer to another. As Gronroos argues, the evaluation of the service by customers is a result of comparison between his or her expectations and the reality (1984 as cited in Khan 2012). Moreover, the term service quality can refer to a wide range of attitudes regarding different services that can be provided in a fast food restaurant. This include, the courtesy of the staff, the time period in which every order is served, the home delivery service, and even the quality of the website in providing relevant...
References: Andaleeb, S. & Conway, C (2006), " customer satisfaction in the restaurant industry: an examination of the transaction-specific model, journal of service marketing, vol 20.
Gilbert, G. Veloutsou, C. Good, M. & Moutinho, L. (2004), " measuring customer satisfaction in fast food industry: a cross national approach", journal of services marketing, Vol 18.
Pizam, A. & Ellis, T (1999), "customer satisfaction and its measurement in hospitality enterprises", international journal of contemporary hospitality management, 11/7, 326-339.
Khan, S. (2012), "determinants of customer satisfaction in fast food industry", international journal of management and strategy, vol.3.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document