Happy New Year! We hope 2011 is a year full of fun, success and enjoyment for you! In week 3, we discussed why purchasing a service is so risky in comparison to a good. This week we will discuss why customer satisfaction is important from a consumer’s perspective.
But before we get into that, we should first define what customer satisfaction actually is… ‘customer satisfaction is essentially your evaluation of a service in terms of whether that service has met your needs and expectations.’
You may be wondering, why we are speaking about customer satisfaction in the consumers blog and not in the organisations blog and it’s because we wanted to explain that customer satisfaction is related to other feelings that differ depending on the context or type of service. This means that your dissatisfaction may not always be caused by a service failure but due to personal factors such as your mood and emotional state. In fact there are many influences that can affect customer satisfaction, including:
1. Product and service features – evaluation of product or service features.
2. Consumer emotions – being in a happy or sad mood will influence how you feel about a service.
3. Attributions for service success/failure – the perceived causes of event influence perceptions of satisfaction.
4. Perceptions of equity – been treated fairly compared with other customers.
5. Other consumers (family members and coworkers)
When deciding if a complaint is justifiable try to check to see whether you are dissatisfied with the service because the product and service features were inadequate or whether if it is was due to other personal factors. For instance, I had an episode once where I was double booked by my hairdresser to get my hair cut and styled – normally I wouldn’t have been too bothered by the fact that they canceled my hair appointment, but because I booked it for the day before my partner and I’s anniversary, I was fuming that I was unable to get my haircut (trivial I know!), I was close to complaining and probably making a fool of myself before I remembered that I was mainly dissatisfied because of my own emotions, and as a result I didn’t complain and was very nice to them. This ultimately worked in my favour because they rescheduled my appointment for the week later and charged me 50% less than what I normally pay (and in case you are wondering my anniversary was wonderful and wasn’t affected because I hadn’t had my hair cut)!
MORALE OF THE STORY: If your dissatisfaction is due to personal factors, give it a day or two to think about whether a complaint is justifiable – if you feel that you should still complain go ahead, after all Vent2Me exists to rectify complaints, but the most important thing you must do when deciding to complain is to be level headed and not let emotions get in the way – although being emotional may still result in a good outcome, organisations often make the complaint process difficult for customers who appear quite angry or emotional.
So if you have decided to make a complaint, great! This is after all one of the main ways organisations can gain feedback from you, however before complaining make sure you know exactly what issue you are complaining about and how it directly affected you. You may be surprised but due to the convoluted complaint process that most organisations have – consumers often forget what they were complaining about because they have been transferred to different departments, staff and so forth. Getting your point across early is the key to being transferred/put through to the right person as early as possible.
This week’s blog is a bit of a teaser for next week’s, where we discuss how best to complain to an organisation – believe it or not there is an art to complaining and we will share these tips with you!
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.