Definitions of Customer Satisfaction
A nice, easy-to-remember customer satisfaction definition is:
Customer satisfaction is a consumer’s perception of how well an organization has delivered on their communicated value proposition.
The key points to note about this definition are:
- Customer satisfaction is the perception of a consumer,
- It is primarily based on two top-level factors, namely expected value versus delivered value,
- The organization contributes to the consumer’s level of expectation through their communicated value proposition (that is, product quality, price, benefits, status, service, and so on).
(Please note that these issues are discussed further in the detailed model section.)
Therefore, in simple terms, when considering this definition of customer satisfaction, it is easy to see why it is so important to many firms – because it indicates how well the firm is delivering on their promises to its target market.
If you need a more academic (formal textbook) definition (as I like to use definitions, like above, that are easy to understand and remember), the following is Oliver’s definition:
Satisfaction is the consumer’s fulfillment response. It is a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provided (or is providing) a pleasurable level of consumption-related fulfillment, including levels of under- or over-fulfillment.
In this definition, the key words to focus upon are “judgment” and “fulfillment” – that is, the consumer judges how well the product or service fulfilled their needs. Here is a link to an academic article by Oliver for further research if required.