Customer service satisfaction

By John Dudovskiy

Customer satisfaction Kotler and Keller (2006, p.144) define satisfaction as a person’s feeling of pleasure or disappointment which resulted from comparing a product’s perceived performance or outcome against his/ her expectations. Customer perceived value has been defined as “the difference between the perspective customer’s evaluation of all the benefits and all the costs of an offering and the perceived alternatives” (Kotler and Keller, 2006, p.141)

Conceptualised service encounter satisfaction model proposed by Walker (1995, pp. 8-9) is divided into three disconfirmation stages:

  1. Evaluation stage. In that stage the peripheral service is encountered prior to the core service being consumed.
  2. Core service is more anticipated by the consumer.
  3. After core service delivery interaction is undertaken in the final stage.

The influence of several complex and multiple factors to the customer tolerance zone is noted by Zeithaml et al (1993, p.2). Eleven factors affecting both desired and adequate service levels are described by Zeitheml et al (1993, pp.3-11) as following:

Desired service influencing factors:

1. Enduring service intensifiers

  • Derived expectations
  • Personal service philosophies

2. Personal needs

3. Explicit service promises

  • Advertising
  • Personal selling
  • Contracts
  • Other communications

4. Implicit service promises:

  • Tangibles
  • Price

5. Word of mouth:

  • Personal
  • Expert (Consumer reports, publicity, consultants, surrogates)

6. Past experience

Adequate service influencing factors:

7. Transitory service intensifiers

  • Emergencies
  • Service problems

8. Perceived service alternatives

9. Self-perceived service role

10. Situational factors:

  • Bad weather
  • Catastrophe
  • Random over-demand

11. Predicted service



  • Hutchinson, TP, 2009, “The customer experience when using public transport: a review”, Proceedings of the ICE – Municipal Engineer
  • Kotler, P & Keller, K, 2006, “Marketing Management”, twelfth edition, Prentice-Hall
  • McManus, J & Miles, D, 1993, “An underground journey: Managing Service Quality”, MCB UP Ltd
  • Miller, M, 1995, “Improving customer service and satisfaction at London Underground”, Managing Service Quality, Vol.5, Issue:1
  • Walker, JL, 1995, “Service Encounter Satisfaction: Conceptualized”, Journal of Service Marketing Issue: 9(1)
  • Zeithaml, VA, Berry, LL & Parasuraman, A, 1993, “The Nature and Determinants of Customer Expectations of Service”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Issue: 21(1)

Category: Customer Services