The compatibility of service customers

By Priya Chetty on October 30, 2010

The mere presence of customers in churches, restaurants, bars and spectacular sports is important. If no one else shows up, customers will not get to socialize with others, one of the primary expectations in these types of services. However if number of customers becomes so dense that crowding occurs, customers may also be dissatisfied.

Customers can be incompatible for many reasons –

  • Difference in beliefs
  • Values
  • Experience
  • Abilities to pay
  • Appearance
  • Age, health etc.

The service marketer must anticipate, acknowledge and deal with heterogeneous customers who have the potential to be incompatible.

Customer Expectations from Service:

Customer expectations are beliefs about service delivery that function as standards or reference point against which performance is judged. Knowing what customer expects is the first and possibly most critical step in delivering quality service.

Expected Service: – two levels of expectations

  1. Desired service: – the service customer hopes to receive – the “wished for” level of performance.
  2. Adequate service: – the level of service the customer will accept.

Customer Perceptions of Service:

Perceptions are always considered relative to expectations. Customers perceive services in terms of the quality of the service and how satisfied they are overall with their experiences.

Satisfaction is generally viewed as a broader concept while

Service quality assessment focuses on dimensions of service.

Internal and External Customer Perceptions: e.g.      A telephone repair person depends on services provided by the dispatchers vehicle maintenance crew, the repair person is the Internal Customer for the dispatchers and the vehicle maintenance crew. Any customer who calls up for the repair of his equipment is the External Customer for the service repair person.

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).