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Chapter 4 : Customer Expectations and Perceptions

Understanding Customer Requirements
Customer Expectations
Types of Service Expectations

Factors that Influence Customer Expectations of Service

Factors that Influence Customer Expectations of Desired Service
Factors that Influence Customer Expectations of Adequate Service
Factors that Influence both Desired and Predicted Service Expectations
Criteria to Evaluate a Service based on Customers'Service Expectations

Managing Customer Service Expectations

Managing Promises; Reliability
Getting it Right the First Time
Effective Communication

Exceeding Customer Service Expectations
Customer Perceptions

Factors That Influence Customer Perceptions

Service Encounter
Service Evidence

Strategies For Influencing Customer Perceptions

Enhance Customer Satisfaction through Service Encounters
Reflect Evidence of Service
Communicate and Create a Realistic Image
Enhance Customer Perception of Quality and Value through Pricing

Chapter Summary

Delivering quality service consistently gives a competitive edge to service organizations. It requires an understanding of customer expectations and the types of expectations. Further, knowledge of factors influencing the desired service level, adequate service level, and zone of tolerance will help service organizations consistently meet and exceed service expectations of customers.

While evaluating service offered by an organization, customers compare perceived quality of service with the expected quality of service. Therefore, service organizations should have knowledge about customer perceptions and the influence of factors such as service encounter, service evidence, image of the service organization, and price of the service on customer perceptions.

Service organizations should also attempt to understand the various types of service encounters like remote, face-to-face, and phone encounters to be able to understand customer perceptions. They should examine the factors that influence customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction, like recovery, adaptability, spontaneity, and coping and innovate strategies to influence customer perceptions.

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