EXPECTATION AND DELIGHT Consumer Behaviour

Before a company or a marketer can delight the customer, it must have an in-depth knowledge of the customer’s expectations, so that not only are they able to meet, but exceed the expectation, to delight the customer. For this a knowledge of the core elements of the products and services are essential.

Core-elements-for delighting a customer
The core elements of a product are its shape, quality, colour, quantity, packaging, price, brand name differentiation, etc. While the core elements of service are reliability, usefulness,responsiveness to specific needs assurance and acceptability, etc. from the service provider.
In case of a product (tangible), the customer should be provided what he expects and the core elements remain almost the same. However, services being intangible and their characteristics which are intangibility, inseparability, perishability, etc. must be kept in mind. The core elements given above can be manipulated to exceed the expectations of the customers, as the human touch is also involved, and this can give unexpected positive elements to delight the customer and have a competitive edge as well. A study conducted by Parsuram. Berry and Ziethmal in 1991 came out with some conclusions given below.

  1. A customer expects fundamental benefits, not fancies.
  2. A customer expects performance and not empty promises.
  3. A customer expects competency.

In case of automobile repair

  1. A customer wants competency (job done right, the first time).
  2. A customer wants things to be explained.
  3. A customer wants to know why you have suggested repairs.
  4. A customer wants to be shown respect.

In case of hotels

  1. A customer wants a clean and secure room to be provided.
  2. A customer wants to be treated as a guest.
  3. A customer wants the promises to be kept.

In case of insurance

  1. A customer wants up-to-date information.
  2. A customer wants to be treated fairly in case of claims, etc.
  3. A customer wants to be provided with prompt service.

For other services and products

  1. A customer wants reliability which is the ability to perform the promised service,dependably and accuracy.
  2. A customer wants tangibility or the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel and other materials.
  3. A customer wants responsiveness—the responsiveness to a query or to a call, e.g.,telephone enquiries. Sometimes nobody picks up the phone for a long time, which irritates and turns off a customer.
  4. A customer wants assurance—the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence.
  5. A customer wants empathy—the caring individual attention provided to customers. Salesman putting himself in the customer’s shoes.

Reliability is more concerned with the service outcome, whereas the other factors of responsiveness, assurance, tangibility and empathy are more concerned with the service process.

With the help of these guidelines and their implementation, the customer cannot only meet his expectations, but be delighted to the core of his heart.


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