Management is the name of synergy of four major things, a) Planning b) Organizing c) Leading d) Controlling. No matter what type of management is, but one thing for sure when ever the name of management comes these four things automatically associated with it. Likelihood the different aspects of management, marketing management albeit has a significance role in the long run of the organization. The marketing department is held responsible to initiate such strategy, which adds a remarkable value in the productivity as well as in the efficiency of the organization. The foremost function of the marketing department is to congregate business for the organization and such accumulation has a direct contact with the net profit of the organization, so in short we can say that the marketing department is inexorably the main profit taking hub for an organization.
In the current scenario, there is essence of mounting unemployment rate, depleting economy, dwindling on foreign reserves, plummeted to exports & trades and poverty are some escalating issues which we have been encountered from last 1 and half year, which not only broken the back of the officials but also throw the whole world including the government into a severe distress. In this chaotic environment, marketing of your product is such an uphill task. The thing which gives an ad hoc to the stance of marketing is the customer orientation or customer satisfaction. If you ask any marketing manager, regarding what is the most important thing according to him than he will definitely say that customer satisfaction. The main prospective of this study is quite straightforward, as we want to pen down the significance of customer satisfaction under different aspects for an organization and what will be the effective operation management strategies can be applied to increase the customer satisfaction.
Exploring the Concept of Customer Satisfaction
Definitions of customer satisfaction have been widely discussed from the view of many researchers and organizations who increasingly desire to measure it. Satisfaction, it can be argued, is the core objective of marketing. As defined in many textbooks, the marketing concept holds that the function of business is to satisfy consumers’ needs at a profit (Hunt, 1997). A typical textbook definition can be found in Kotler, Bowen and Maken (1996) who define the marketing concept as follows:
“The company coordinates all the activities that will affect customer satisfaction and makes its profit by creating and maintaining customer satisfaction…The marketing concept holds as a philosophy of business that it is the function of business to satisfy consumers’ needs at a profit.” (p.35)
Classic models of buyer behavior (Howard & Sheth, 1969) suggest that if a brand or product proves satisfactory, it increases the probability of buying that brand, the next time a similar buying situation occurs. In other words, the marketing concept implies that customers are likely to re-purchase satisfying products or brands. Research also suggests that customer satisfaction / dissatisfaction influences other post-purchase behaviors such as word-of-mouth communication and complaining behavior.
A group of researchers of the Center for the Study of Social Policy (2007) conceptualize that satisfaction is based on the customer’s experience of both contact with the organization (the moment of truth) and personal outcomes. According to these researchers, satisfaction can be experienced in a variety of situations and connected to both goods and services. To another extent, these researchers defined satisfactions as a “highly personal assessment” that is greatly influenced by “individual expectations”. This definition views “individual” element as powerful force to create satisfaction. Likewise, many researchers (Oliver, 1981; Brady and Robertson, 2001) conceptualize customer satisfaction as an individual’s feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product’s perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to his or her expectations.
Determinants of Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction
Hawkins (2010) believed that performance expectations and actual performance are major factors in the evaluation process, so we need to understand the dimensions of product and service performance. He found that major study of the reasons customers switch service providers found competitor actions to be a relatively minor cause. Most customers did not switch from a satisfactory provider to a better provider. Instead, they switched because of perceived problems with their current service provider. The nature of these problems and the percentage listing each as a reason they changed providers follow (the percentage sum to more than 100 because many customers listed several reasons that caused them to switch):
Core service failure (44%): Mistakes, billing errors, and service catastrophes that harm the customer.
Service encounter failures (34%): Service employees were uncaring, impolite, unresponsive, or unknowledgeable.
Pricing (30%): High prices, prices increases, unfair pricing practices, and deceptive pricing.
Inconvenience (21%): Inconvenient location, hours of operation, waiting time for service or appointments.
Responses to service failures (17%): Reluctant responses, failure to respond, and negative responses.
Attraction by competitors (10%): More personable, more reliable, higher quality, and better value.
Ethical problems (7%): Dishonest behavior, intimidating behavior, unsafe or unhealthy practices, or conflicts of interest.
Involuntary switching (6%): Service provider or customer moves, or a third-party payer such as an insurance company requires a change.
From the above statistics by Hawkins, we found that the first 3 most crucial factors are Core service failure, service encounter failures and pricing.
He also suggests that there are two dimensions to performance: instrumental, and expressive or symbolic for many products. Instrumental performancerelates to the physical functioning of the product. Symbolic performance relates to aesthetic or image-enhancement performance. For example, the durability of a sport coat is an aspect of instrumental performance, whereas styling represents symbolic performance. Affective performance is the emotional response that owning or using the product or outlet providers.
Inventory Management: The satisfaction level of the customer will automatically increase with the efficient use of the inventory. This is the main reason that the companies using Last in First Out (LIFO) system are more productive and customer oriented than the companies used First in First Our (FIFO) inventory system, because the companies used LIFO system have used their inventory in a more proficient manner than that of the companies used FIFO method.
Capacity Management: It includes the capacity of the management of the company means, the product of the company are easily available on their franchise.
Quality Management: It is the most substantial and integral point of customer satisfaction, because quality is the one which ultimately induce a consumer to pay higher prices for the product they are purchasing. If the supermarket product of our company will be good than we have a very good chance to market our product in a good manner and it effects on the goodwill of our product as well.
Customer Relationship Management: Have you ever think that, what induce a person to buy your product, if he have alternative available in the market. Yes! It is the stance of customer relationship management which compels a person to do that.