The importance of customer satisfaction

Every organisation is apt to believe that it is providing a good service to customers/members within budget limitations.

However organisations are unlikely to know whether their service delivery meets the expectation of the customers unless steps are taken to measure customer satisfaction. This may be achieved by surveying customers.

There are three basic issues that such a survey should address.

Issue 1: Is there a good match between the services provided by the organisation and the services desired by the customer/ member?
Issue 2: Is there a match between the quality or standard of service provided by the organisation and that desired by the customer/ member?
Issue 3: Are there mechanisms in place to allow the customer/members the opportunity to influence the services provided by the organisation?

It is important for organisations to gauge as accurately as possible the needs of customers/members for service. To provide too little service is to run the risk of dissatisfied customers who will leave and go elsewhere, whereas to provide too much service is to burden the organisation with unnecessary financial costs. It would be prudent for organisations to implement a system for continually evaluating the needs of the customer/member and to gauge their level of satisfaction. A regular analysis of customer opinions allows the organisation to make corrections to services provided.

Some facts about customers

(Source: adapted from Lovelock [1994], Gerson [19921, and Morgan [1989].)


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