customer satisfaction, expectations, consumer behavior, value
Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet
- Student Worksheet: Understanding Customer Satisfaction
- Instructor Solutions (Members Only): Understanding Customer Satisfaction = Solutions
Student Discussion Activity
This activity is designed to help you identify the key components of what drives customer satisfaction outcomes.
Listed below are a series of statements made by consumers regarding their recent interaction with a firm. Quickly review each statement and determine how satisfied each consumer is, using this simple scale:
- very satisfied
- very dissatisfied
Customer Comments on their Satisfaction Levels
- “My friends dragged me to see that new movie. I didn’t want to go! I thought it was going to be a stupid movie, but it turned out to be not too bad.”
- “I got my old TV repaired the other day, as the picture always looked fuzzy. The firm fixed it in a few days and met their $100 quote. Now the TV works fine.”
- “I was really excited about going to see the concert, but the seats were right up the back and we were next to a bunch of loud and noisy people.”
- “I couldn’t believe that the hotel only charged $100 for the night. They could easily charge a lot more for what they offer.”
- “I was so excited when I first saw vanilla flavored cola – I thought it would taste great, just like cola and ice-cream. But when I tasted it, it was so bad that I couldn’t even finish it.”
- “I hired a floor polishing machine for the weekend. When they delivered it, we found it was too big to get through the doorway. They took it away without charge, but I was disappointed as I had previously checked with them that it would fit.”
- “I had a real problem with my bank as they kept charging a wrong fee to my account. When I went to see them they were really good about it, refunded the fee and apologized and said that it wouldn’t happen again.”
- “I went to McDonald’s the other day and it was a real surprise. I haven’t been there in years and these days they have a good choice of food, nice coffee, and even comfortable lounge chairs to sit in.”
Student Discussion Questions
- How satisfied are each of the above consumers.
- What factors seem to influence their level of customer satisfaction?
- Given these factors, to what extent is customer satisfaction controllable by the firm?
- Do you think that delivering satisfaction is harder for large firms, because consumers expect more from them?
- Given you answer to Q2, how valid is the cliché of “under-promise and over-deliver”?
- Likewise, what are the implications of a firm “over-promising” in their marketing communications?