Improving Customer’s Perception of Service Delivered

Consider the following two scenarios

  1. A service that consistently provides  good service. Nothing ever goes wrong, it just works.
  2. Almost same as above with some exceptions. Once in a while something goes wrong, be it a service failure or over-billing. But as soon as the customer calls it is resolved right there, be it resolving service failure or  removing  $300 over charge without further questions.

In which of the two scenarios will a customer feel they are getting better service? Do  occasional problems and their immediate resolution improve a customer’s perception of the overall service?  Previous studies have shown how recency and intensity affect our perception and recall. Could these be applicable in this case?

From another perspective, is the presence of both good service and bad service increase a customer’s utility more than just good service? We saw the work of Wertenbroch and Dhar that found that utility from consuming virtue increased in the presence of vice options. Here the customers are not making choices but the choice is made for them, nevertheless customers are reminded of the  “vice option” and steered back to “virtue option”.

4 thoughts on “Improving Customer’s Perception of Service Delivered

  1. Sorry, the book doesn’t have more details about the survey, not even a reference.

    The other thing about this stuff, is the same survey may produce different results with different products. You never know.

    See you,



  2. Stephan
    Thanks for the reference, that is an interesting survey finding. Do you know if they survey asked customers about defects in the recent past or over the lifetime of the car? If the customer did not have to pay for it they may report as satisfied.

    You are correct that sending a few random defects with the product is not the right approach to improving customer satisfaction.
    I think these experiments tell us the need to expose the customer to the quality of the product and service more overtly than simply delivering a superior product. If customer does not get signals they have a great product or receiving great service they may rate the product not so high.



  3. G. Clotaire Rapaville mentions a survey by GM in his book, 7 Secrets Of Marketing (2001), “Secret 1”, Chapter 1, Section P: Product, Process, People.

    He writes that the result of the survey was, “customers who bought a car that had no defects were less satisfied than ones who had bought a car and had a problem that had been fixed by the dealer.”

    So I would think in scenario (2), “customer feel they are getting better service”.

    But of course this is not sustainable. It doesn’t make sense to make people feel better by introducing artificial problems that are easy to fix.



Comments are closed.