An expectation is a personal reaction often based on irrational and imprecise opinions. This makes it difficult for companies to measure customer satisfaction before and after a purchase.
We have included employee behavior in the client satisfaction equation written above. Regardless of the products, interaction with an employee can greatly affect the satisfaction of the customer. For example, this can happen to anyone: a person goes to a store that he knows carries cheap products of good quality. He knows exactly what he wants to buy and how much it will cost because he has information about the prices. He arrives at the store 15 minutes before closing. The employees refuse to let him in the store because they were already getting ready to go home. Even though the customer insists he will be quick and that the store should still be open, the employees close the door in his face.
The result? He remains satisfied with the products due to previous buying experiences, but he will be highly offended and dissatisfied with the employee behavior. Because of their behavior, he might refuse to go into that store again even though he was pleased with the products in the past.
Finally, the consumer satisfaction equation also includes product usage because it can be relevant for some products. The more you use a product after purchase, the more satisfied with it you are likely to be. If you buy a kitchen mixer but do not use it, you end up dissatisfied because you spent money on it and did not use it. It doesn’t influence the customer satisfaction level as much as employee behavior, but it is still an important factor.
If one of the parts of the client satisfaction equation (the expectations, the product usage, the employee behavior or the price-quality ratio) does not score highly enough, the percentage of the customer’s satisfaction drops. However, it is difficult for companies to create their client service system according to the customer satisfaction theory because satisfaction is often immeasurable and vaguely defined. Therefore, they are not able to correctly predict the quality of the experience the client has with their services.
If satisfaction does not create the right practices in customer service, then what other theories should companies use?
The studies on the employee’s satisfaction offered specialists a new model to use in customer service. This model refers to motivators and hygiene factors. The hygiene term refers here to the practical incentives that employees receive at the workplace. Motivators refer to factors that can grow the satisfaction, while the hygiene factors can reduce the satisfaction of the employee. This model is called “the two factor theory” by Frederick Herzberg, an American psychologist with expertise in employment satisfaction and it is still used in many companies.
When it comes to employees, the greatest motivators are appreciation, available training, and positive encouragement. These factors contribute to the growth of employee satisfaction. The hygiene factors are salary, working conditions, and hierarchy – the material factors that influence a decline in employee satisfaction.