There is a statement saying “the customer is always right”. It is not true. However, customers have some expectations, and the main aim of sellers is to give customers what they need in a very polite way. It is important “to set expectations, or if necessary adjust them, to ensure that they know what to expect and get what they need, even if they cannot always get what they want” (Reece, Customer Service & Customer Expectations). In their article, Wong and Dioko investigate the essence of customer expectations and examine the role of customer expectations in the relationship between customer satisfaction and its drivers (1).
The first thing to be discussed is the customer’s buying behavior. There are a few factors that influence customer’s behavior such as the reason for purchase, mood, and personal factors (age, gender, etc.). Also, customer’s behavior can be considered through expectations and perceptions. According to Wong and Dioko “perceived value influences consumer behaviors through customer satisfaction; that is, it may exhibit indirect effects on loyalty and other behavioral intentions” (190). However, customers’ buying behavior mostly depends on their basic needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes five main types of needs (McGuire 7). Maslow determined that people begin fulfilling their higher-level needs after they have already fulfilled basic ones. For instance, no one will go shopping when he is hungry or tired.
Apart from this, Wong and Dioko emphasize that overall satisfaction drives loyalty intention (189). At first glance, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are the same, and satisfied clients are loyal. However, it is necessary to distinguish these two terms. Orel and Kara notice “customer satisfaction will have a direct positive impact on loyalty” (4). Loyalty is more important than satisfaction because satisfaction is an attitude, and loyalty is a behavior. However, customer satisfaction is a very important factor because it has a significant impact on customer loyalty. Although high satisfaction cannot guarantee customer loyalty, it is a prerequisite for it.
To satisfy the customer, firstly, it is necessary to understand and investigate his expectations. Customer satisfaction is tightly linked to his expectations. In their article, Wong and Dioko underline that customer satisfaction often refers to the customers’ perception of performance in relation to their expectations (194). When the customer has lower expectations for some goods or services, he is more likely to feel satisfied in the end. But low expectations can lead to the situation when no one will want to buy offered services. High expectations are riskier because if the customer does not get what he was promised, he is more likely to be dissatisfied and leave bad reviews. Providing customers with realistic expectations is the best way to run a successful business. However, customer expectations are rising faster lately due to technological progress. Due to the availability of information, people tend to want and expect more. Nevertheless, new technologies help businesses create a better service and play a vital role in the selling process.
To sum up, it is important to accentuate that customer service is aimed at customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. However, firstly it is important to get customer satisfaction because customer loyalty directly depends on it. The most significant factor that influences customer’s satisfaction is customer expectations. The main purpose of service providers is to meet customer expectations. The customer is not always right but setting expectations is in the interest of sellers. Customer expectation is a cause, and customer satisfaction is the effect or result. Obviously, to build long-term, loyal relationships with the customer, firstly, it is important to study the customer’s behavior and needs. In their article, Wong and Dioko clearly describe and examine the nature of customer expectations and its role in the selling process. However, they are not focused on the future customer model. Humanity lives in the time of rapid progress, so advertising is not the only one key factor in customer expectations anymore. Nowadays, service providers should concentrate on providing more options and constant contact with the customer. These are the latest customer expectations.
“Customer Service & Customer Expectations.” YouTube. Web.
McGuire, Kevin John. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. An Introduction. GRIN Verlag GmbH, 2012.
Orel, Fatma Demirci, and Ali Kara. “Supermarket Self-Checkout Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, and Loyalty: Empirical Evidence from an Emerging Market.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 21, no. 2, 2014, pp. 118-129.
Wong, IpKin Anthony and Leonardo Don A.N. Dioko. “Understanding the Mediated Moderating Role of Customer Expectations in The Customer Satisfaction Model: The Case Of Casinos.” Tourism Management, vol. 36, 2013, pp. 188-199. Web.