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The authors investigated the concept and factors influence delighting the customers in banking. Researched based on the exploratory research from the banks customers to investigate the factors and elements, which lead to customer delight .Exploratory researched based on focused group interviews ,which lead to establish a customer delight model and later on tested on 300 respondents. This established a concrete successful validation of the customer delight model.
Can bank delight its customers with its services? Seems to be simple question but hard to answer.
One single question which arise in every single manager mind that how can he/she leave mark in the mind of customer , to make sure he/she comes back and remain loyal to his organization. Now as services uniqueness life is shorten as every single organization are providing the same services as competitors. The only solution to question is to delight the customers, which competitors failed to do so. Achieving customer delight and experience requires the organization to realize that it is dynamics and merely represents a moving targets or ambitions. There is no flat target to accomplish customer delight
Customer satisfaction “the individual's perception of the performance of the product or service in relation to his or her expectations” (Schiffman and kanuk, 2004) era has end and now customer delight “profoundly positive emotional situation generally resulting from having one's expectations go beyond to a surprising degree.” (Oliver, Rust, and Varki 1997) era has started. This is the age of customer delight where customers receive more then they deserved or they have imagined. Customer delight in banking sector was never researched till now as we have found out how the account holder in banks can be delighted not just by their services but reaches beyond the expectations of the customers.
Age of customer delight has started where customer satisfaction is no longer considered as Bank success or the service provided by it. Competitive edge is no longer applicable because almost every bank providing the same services in term of quality as well as in quantity. The difference which makes between the banks success is how they fulfill their customer required services at the time when they required the most. Customer delight creates the ever lasting edge for the bank in Red Ocean of banking sector.
Customer delight is the ever long-lasting answer to success. Customer cannot be delighted if until or unless he/she is not satisfied from the presented services, the factors or eliminates of delightness comes after the fulfilling of satisfying consumer need. The delighted customer is more valuable for the company as it will help the organization to compete its competitors.
Now the question arise how to delight customer when every bank is providing the same services which cannot be distinguish from each other. This question has a unique set of characteristic because it contains the customer delight process which it never been researched till yet. Delight a customer is not just a sample question to answer because customer delighting is not just for individual customer; it's for every individual customer of the bank.
Literature Review for Customer Delight in banking Sector
Delighting the customer is very debatable topic as critics has suggested that if once raised the customer expectation bar then it become impossible to give same level of experience to customer, which in long run will hurt the company reputation as also explained by Oliver and Rust 2000.
Customer delight is a rising concept in marketing and little work has yet been done on it. As such, no consensus is reached about delight but it is generally posited as customer response to unexpectedly good performance from a service firm (Keiningham and Vavra 2001; Kumar 1996).
A Restaurant which provides the best taste food with ample of smiles from its staffs may not be consider as customer delight of the customer if a customer (who has take away food in his hand ) does not receive a courtesy of having a door opened when he is walking out. For example, hotel provides neat and clean room for every guest. The competition has forced the hotel management to offer room service such as room bar, bathroom accessories, and internet connection. But only few hotels providing the services more then customer expected from them such as microwave, weather forecast, real time flight information and so on. As the competition will increase, more services will be provided to the customer to ensure business, public reputation and hotel success as compare to its competitor. Only few well-recognized hotels are offering a microwave, plastic cover for leftover foods, next-days weather report, real-time flight information, and so on. In the near future, the challenges on quality management would be identification to the services which will insure the customer has positive emotional experience from the Product and services.
Customer satisfaction is defined as “The individual's perception of the performance of the product or service in relation to his or her expectations” (Schiffman and Kanuk, 2004).” “Customer satisfaction is extensively recognized as a key authority in the formation of customers' future purchase intent (Taylor & Baker, 1994).”
According to Patterson (1997) “customer delight involves going beyond satisfaction to delivering what can be best described as a pleasurable experience for the client”.
Michael Arthur Johnson explained on his customer delight website that When some one create "WOW" then you have place a very special peg in the recollection of the customer that is easy to recollect. It creates the opportunity of the customer telling the story regarding their "WOW" incident to many friends, acquaintances and strangers. It creates the free publicity that you can't place a temporary value to.
Customer delight creates the cycles of customer coming back again and again. It creates the word of mouth publicity to draw new customers without spending any extra money on advertisement. It brings the firm at the top of the list among the competitors with a unique place in the mind of customers and differentiate firm from the rest. It permits you to sell your product or service for additional money than the competition. It allows you to make extra return on your investment.
Delighted customers are those where you foresee their needs; present solutions to them before they request and where you are monitor to see if new or supplementary expectations are about ready to be mandatory. What's wrong with just provide the customer service to customers as when they required explained by Michael Arthur Johnson.Michael Arthur Johnson says the difference between success and failure in only customer delight.
Traditionally delight has been thought of a blend of joy and surprise (Kumar et al., 2001). However a recent study suggests that customers can be delighted without being surprised (Kumar et al., 2001). Although joy remains an important element of delight, the study suggests that a greater number of people are exhilarated, thrilled and to a lesser extent exuberant (Kumar et al., 2001).
Satisfied customers are not necessarily leave with a firm; they are purely at ease. Delighted customers on the other hand have greater admiration for the firm and its services. Paul (2000) states: Unfortunately, people don't talk about adequate service. Instead, they tell anyone who will listen about really bad or really delightful services.
Paul says that delight generate more positive word -of- Mouth for the company. Being only satisfied with a firm's product or services is not necessarily mean that customer will prefer the company or rejects it but its just simple expression of acceptance. Delighting customers is about providing a product and services that are outstanding and stimulates customer's preference towards a firm or its services.
Companies are also realizing that loosing a customer means loosing more than a single sale: it means loosing the entire flow of purchases by the customer made over a lifetime of purchase. It has also been anticipated that as the level of satisfaction increases, so does customer become loyal to the firms product and services (Kotler and Amstrong 2001).
Kumar et al., 2001 explain that these studies found that customers who where extremely satisfied were more possible will loyal than customers who says they where satisfied.
From many years customer satisfaction is used for the indicator of organization health and success. In recent times it has been argued that in order to succeed in red Blue Ocean of competitive environment it become a necessity to do more then just satisfy the customer but now organization have to delight the customer for staying alive in the competition.. Delighting customers is a splendid ideal, but what kind of impact does it have on the company? Does customer delight lead to increased success and good monetary health of the firm?
According to Rust and Oliver (2000) Research reviewed here strongly suggests that delight cannot be achieved without surprisingly positive levels of performance, which as noted previously, require additional effort on the part of the firm or its agents. As Rust and Oliver (2000) explain that delighting the customer for organization can be harmful as the expectation of the customer extends and the customer does not get the level of services he is expecting from the organization. In the end the customer become dissatisfied from the organization.
“Academicians have entertained the possibility that high positive emotions such as delight might supplement the satisfaction concept (Oliver and Rust, 1997).”
“Satisfied customers will also tell others about their favorable experiences and therefore connect in positive word - of - mouth advertising (Richens, 1983; File & Prince, 1992). “
“Positive word of mouth publicity is mostly useful in collectivist Middle Eastern cultures where social life is planned in a way to improve community relationships with others in the society (Hofstede, 1980; Hall and Hall, 1987).“
Customers who are dissatisfied, is more likely to switch brands and become active in the negative word of mouth advertisement of the brand. Furthermore, behaviors such as replicate purchase and word-of-mouth straight influence the feasibility and profitability of a firm (Dabholkar et al., 1996). A study was conducted by the Levesque and McDougall (1996) confirms and resistant the idea that unsatisfactory customer service results in a drop of customer satisfaction and hesitation to recommend the services to others. This would lead to large number of customer switching rate of customer to another brand as well as the negative word of mouth.
A well known academic article on customer delight is by Oliver, Rust and Varki (1997). The authors give delight both hypothetical and an applied perspective, “Delight appears as resulting from a Blend of pleasure and arousal (p 318).In their article they have presented a model and test it which has both “delight sequence” and a “satisfaction sequence” which leads to intentions of the customers.
Model was tested using two consumption experiences - a recreational wildlife theme park and a symphony concert. In the test the direct and indirect effects on both consumption experiences on both delight and intention were not constant for the both experiences. “His indicates the probable effect of the moderating variables on the impact of delight on behavioral intentions. Oliver, Rust and Varki (1997).
The model tested in Oliver, Rust and Varki is essentially a conceptual psychological model of the process of delight that can occur within consumption experiences of the customers. From the model of Oliver, Rust and Varki (1197) provide the evidence that delight has three direct antecedents such as Surprising consumption, Arousal or Heightened activation and Positive affect, all these three leads to customer delight. Model develops new insight concerning that produce delight when situation triggers surprise in a content of positive affect and arousal.
The conservative wisdom is that if you have satisfied customers then you will have loyal customers. Its Sounds right, but its wrong said by Dr. John T. Self). Not only satisfaction of customer can create loyalty but it's more then just satisfying the customers. As further he explains that in his opinion loyalty frequently develops when customers get concerned with the company over the ordinary transaction, mean that all the companies are providing the homogenous services and now customers require other then normal services provided by the company, customers looking beyond then they expects so that they can felt delighted and over whelmed.
Berman in 2005 suggested that organization have to do more then what the customer expects from them and delighting the customer rather then just satisfying them. Berman differentiate customer delight and satisfaction .As satisfaction relate to the meeting the expectation of the customers or exceeding their expectations as customer delight on the other hands customers receive a positive surprise or delight that is afar their expectations .While comparing the satisfaction, customer delight is more toward the customer positive and emotional response against the service. In customer delight the emotional response as compare to the satisfaction has less memory for customer as compare to the delight.
Berman in 2005 identifies changes in the organization which was essential for the delighting of the customer. It include that the organization need to change itself to establish the customer delights objectives. Outcomes of the organization should be linked to the customer delight for giving the incentives for the employees. Walking in the feet of the customer as what they really want from you is more important then what organization in thinking about the customer requirement. Empowerment of the employees in the organizational to take decisions to make customer delighted from their services. Constant feedback from the customer gives blueprint of what is the level of customer is delighted and loyal to the organization.
Berman 2005 provided the ways how the organization can delight their customer, which were more toward the building the face to face contact with customer as provide the customer the services before they ask for it. Highlight politeness, empathy and attempt to understand customer needs. Look for the ways to go beyond satisfying customer. Providing innovation and entertainment and provide the solutions rather then product and services.
Delight a phenomenon is explained by Jones and Sasser” it represents the highest level of satisfaction, leading to a stronger intent to repurchase (Jones and Sasser 1995).Customer delight is never happened without high performance and such performance brings not only benefits to customers but also makes them excited (Kwong and Yau 2002).
To delight customers, it necessitates a superior and endless effort from firms to deliver extraordinarily high-quality services. This effort has to be recognized and cherished by customers.
Customer delight is, defined as an emotional response creating a much pleasured state concerning a firm's high performance in service delivery, which is then highly praised (Kwong2006).
“The major reason to chase delighted customers is the belief that they are more profitable to serve because they are more loyal, that is to say, they tend to have a stronger intent to repurchase. In general, they are apostles who give unfailing support to the firm” (Oliver H. M. Yau and Kenneth K. Kwong 2007).
The delightful experience is like a lasso to capture these customers for exit (Jones and Sasser 1995; Keiningham et al. 1999).
Behaviorally, delighted customers tend to view the firm positively and prefer to buy from it (Keiningham et al. 1999; Schneider and Bowen 1999).Rust et al has stated financially, this preference translates to a profit and represents a stream of future income to the focal firm (Rust et al. 1994).
In sum, these positive propositions imply that customer delight is a valuable business goal to pursuit (Rust and Oliver 2000). Customer service is what organization do for the customers but customer delight is what the customer has experience when he has been indulgence with way he wanted to. Customer delight does not come from giving additional services but comes from the quality of services make available to customer at the time he or she required most.
For example, if a hotel recognizes a guest as a repeat customer and thanks he/she for returning and offers a courtesy upgrade to show appreciation, this unexpected surprise would create customer delight. The hotel has virtually ensured future customer visits. FedEx uses technology to route repeat customer calls to the same dispatcher who can access a detailed customer profile prior to answering the incoming call. The customer is thus greeted by name, and the dispatcher, understanding the customer's preferences and needs, can efficiently and effectively please its customer (examples from Keiningham and Vavra, 2001).
Delight is going beyond merely satisfying the customer to delivering a “higher level” of satisfaction through exceeded expectations (Oliver et al., 1997).
Opportunities to delight customers also lay in service provider capability to go “above and beyond” in service delivery. Long-term relationships with customers offer the opportunity, through personalized service, to go beyond the customers expectations and delight them (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2003),
Delight is more likely to occur in state where customers are vastly involved, where service quality is uneven, and where overwhelmingly exceptional performance is unexpected (Oliver et al., 1997). According to Peter and Olson (1996, p. 509): Pre-purchase prospect are beliefs about predictable performance of the product; disconfirmation refers to the variation between pre-purchase expectations and post purchase perception.
Customer satisfaction has long been recognized as an important issue in marketing (Oliver, 1997). Indeed, it is at the heart of the marketing concept (Howard and Sheth, 1969) and marketing researchers report strong facts of positive effects of customer satisfaction on repeat purchase (Szymanski and Henard, 2001), retention (Bolton, 1998), loyalty (Anderson and Sullivan, 1993) and even profitability (Anderson et al., 1994 and Bernhardt et al., 2000).
Customer satisfaction is usually described as the full meeting of one's expectations (Oliver, 1980).but Delight is a positive consequence of exceeding the customer's expectations (Keiningham and Vavra, 2001),Customer delight create the difference between the only satisfied customer and overwhelmed customer who are more loyal to organization
Customer satisfaction is widely recognized as a key influence in the development of customers' prospect purchase intentions (Taylor and Baker, 1994) but the delighted customers may also be more expected to increase their own expenditure with the delighting organization, and demonstrate increased customer loyalty (Keiningham and Vavra, 2001).
When customers supposed the product performing better than expected, they turn out to be more satisfied (Churchill and Surprenant, 1982). Earlier research also demonstrated a direct link between actual performance and satisfaction level (Bolton and Drew, 1991). This concept of a “higher level” of satisfaction is seen by many practitioners as the way to “provide a distinctive advantage to the company that does it first and does it well consistently” (Chandler, 1989, p. 30, quoted in Oliver et al., 1997).
Berry (1995) explained that many companies focus only on the result of service encounters and lose sight of the procedure by which the service is delivered. He also explained that service providers that go beyond merely dependable service delivery create emotional bonds with their customers, “wowing” them, and in the process build loyal associations. These emotional elements might provide additional “psychosomatic benefits” to the consumer (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, in Oliver et al., 1997), making it more difficult for opponent to lure away customers from the firm as long as exceptional product or service performance.
Griffin (1995) further chains these views by showing that the changeover from repeat customers into loyal clients requires craft an emotional attachment to the service provider.
Jack Mitchell's latest book Hug Your Customers (2003) provides many instances that illustrate the long-term financial benefits that derive from construction those emotional bonds with customers. He suggests that competitive advantage is built in the course of providing both physical and psychological “hugs” to customers, eventually delighting them with consistent, zealous and committed customer service.
Delighted customers are more likely to inform others that they are delighted, which in turn may draw other consumers to do business with that organization. The delighted customers might also be more likely to increase their own spending with the delighting organization, and exhibit increased customer faithfulness (Keiningham and Vavra, 2001).
Maister et al. (2000) suggest that as the competitive environment for specialized services intensifies; the service provider's capability to exceed expectations is going to be more critical in ensuring that customers do not switch firms or use multiple providers.
These emotional elements may provide additional “psychological benefits” to the consumer (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, in Oliver et al., 1997), making it more difficult for competitors to lure away customers from the firm providing exceptional product or service performance.
Paul (2000) states that unfortunately, people don't talk about adequate service. Instead, they tell anyone who will listen about really bad or really delightful services.
Literature tended to consider customer delight as an extension of satisfaction research, in response to the thought of going beyond satisfaction (Schlossberg 1990; Stewart 1997).
It is argued that these two customer post purchase response, delight and satisfaction, are associated, since both pertain to an assessment of products and services acknowledged by customers, but are formed on different bases contributing variously to repurchase intention (Kwong 2006; Kumar 1996).
The possibility of delighted customers to repeat a purchase is known to be about six times more than satisfied customers (Reichheld and Sasser 1990). It represents the highest level of satisfaction, leading to a stronger intent to repurchase (Jones and Sasser 1995).
Literally, service delivery is said to be a procedure by which the actual service is provided (Rust et al. 1994). It refers to all activities undertaken by a firm aiming to create and facilitate an exchange (Bitner et al. 1997; Dabholkar 2000; Danaher and Mattsson 1994; de Ruyter et al. 1997; Lovelock 1996; Rodie and Kleine 2000).
Customer delight is never happened without high performance and such performance brings not only benefits to customers but also makes them excited (Kwong and Yau 2002).This effort has to be acknowledged and appreciated by customers. Customer delight is, therefore, defined as an emotional response creating a much pleasured state concerning a firm's soaring performance in service delivery, which is then highly praised (Kwong 2006).Behaviorally, delighted customers tend to view the firm positively and prefer to buy from it (Keiningham et al. 1999; Schneider and Bowen 1999).
Financially, this preference translates to a profit and represents a stream of future income to the focal firm (Rust et al. 1994).
Delighting the customer just by services will not make the customer delight for a long term basis but same services will be offered by other organization but the only thing which will create long term delight is the way that emotional attachment with customers as explain “A good recovery can turn angry, aggravated customers into loyal ones. It can, in fact, create additional goodwill than if things had gone smoothly in the first place” (Hart, Heskett, and Sasser 1990, p. 148). “Satisfaction with service recovery sharply increases customers' willingness to recommend the firm and significantly improves their perception of overall service quality” (Berry 1995, p. 95). “The benefits of turning around a complaining customer are dramatic” (Rust, Zahorik, and Keiningham 1996, p. 182).
“Customers whose complaints are pleasingly resolved often become more company-loyal than customers who were never dissatisfied” (Kotler 1997, p. 481).
Meeting customers' expectations escort to satisfied customers, which has been shown to be a profitable business approach, as satisfied customers are more likely to carry on doing business with organizations that satisfy their wants (Anderson et al., 1994; Anderson et al., 1997)
Anticipation is beliefs that customers hold about product or service performance “that function as standards or reference points against which performance is judged” (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2003).
Organization basic aim is the achieving the level where the customer expectations are met and Academic research in this area is prolific as well, as intellectuals try to recognize customer expectations and the variables that lead to customer/consumer satisfaction, and eventually retention (e.g. Bebko, 2000; McCollough et al., 2000).
Long-term relationships with customers present the opportunity, through personalized service, to go beyond the customers expectations and delight them (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2003),
Therefore, despite the fact that delighting the customer “can be a profitable business practice” (Rust and Oliver, 2000, p. 86),
Delight is going beyond simply satisfying the customer to delivering a “higher level” of satisfaction through exceeded expectations (Oliver et al., 1997). This concept of a “higher-level” of satisfaction is seen by many practitioners as the way to “provide a distinct advantage to the company that does it first and does it well consistently” (Chandler, 1989, p. 30, quoted in Oliver et al., 1997).
Finally, and perhaps of most attention to service providers, delight has been shown to have both direct and indirect influences on repurchase intentions (Oliver et al., 1997).
Delighted customers are more likely to tell others that they are delighted, which in turn may attract other consumers to do business with that organization. The delighted customers may also be more likely to boost their own spending with the delighting organization, and exhibit increased customer loyalty (Keiningham and Vavra, 2001).
Maister (1993) suggests that reliable service may not be enough and that service providers must go beyond the client's expectations. However, because professional service firm services are high in credence qualities (distinctiveness that make the quality of the service difficult to evaluate), consumers may have a difficult time distinguishing between reliable that is merely competent, and reliable work that is truly exceptional technically. In cases such as this, personal relationships among the service providers and clients will be the key factor in influential whether expectations are met.
Vantrappen (1992, p. 53), stated” Value creation for the customers means that the firm meets the customer's quality, delivery and cost expectations.” Expectations for one customer can be different for another. Vantrappen (1992, p. 59), said that “each customer has unique and evolving needs: another customer anticipate to find different attributes in the product; and the same customer will expect different attributes next time he uses it.”
Prof. Kano, the Kano Model categorizes customer needs into three types of feature. Customers are asked a series of questions that identify the importance of their needs and the following typology of features can be arrived at durability of a car might be considered Basic qualities. They do not satisfy when present, but do dissatisfy when absent.
The customer expects Basic qualities to be in the product and as such high levels of customer satisfaction are hard to achieve by excelling in these areas.
The Kano Model propose that if used properly a deep understanding of customer needs can increase the perceived quality of the product by delighting the customer and hence an increase in sales can be expected.
“Satisfaction with service recovery sharply increases customers' willingness to recommend the firm and significantly improves their perception of overall service quality” (Berry 1995, p. 95). “The benefits of turning around a complaining customer are dramatic” (Rust, Zahorik, and Keiningham 1996, p. 182). “Customers whose complaints are satisfactorily resolved often become more company-loyal than customers who were never dissatisfied” (Kotler 1997, p. 481).
On a more scientific research three recent articles (McCollough, Berry, and Yadav 2000); Smith and Bolton 1998; Tax, Brown, and Chandrashekaran 1998) applause the existence of the paradox. McCollough et al. find that the higher the revival performance, the higher the post recovery satisfaction. Tax, Brown and Chandrashekaran disagree for the existence of the paradox through the direct impact of complaint treatment on trust and commitment. Finally, Smith and Bolton find support for the paradox through growing satisfaction and repatronage intention becoming more constructive with excellent service recovery.
According to the disconfirmation paradigm (Oliver 1980), customer satisfaction is the consequence of an evaluation process whereby the customer compares his expectations of how the service should execute with the actual experience with the service.
Positive, negative or share confirmation of expectations will either vary or maintain current levels of the customer's image of the supplier and his consequent satisfaction with and intent to remain with the supplier. A service failure is said to take place when the service encounter falls short of the customer's expectations (i.e. negative disconfirmation) (Bell and Zemke 1987).
Researchers have suggested that service failure and recovery encounters provide opportunities for firms to communicate commitment to customers and reinforce bonds (Berry and Parasuraman 1991) and that service recovery should be scrutinized as a strategic marketing variable that offers a priceless return in the shape of increased customer satisfaction and retention (Bell and Zemke 1987; Hart, Heskett and Sasser 1990).
Leading researcher have pointed out that customer evaluations of service encounters are important fundamentals of customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty, identify for a greater focus on the relationships among service encounter issues and other organizational concerns such as repatronage, quality, and productivity, and identified service recovery as one of the most important future research subject for services marketing academicians (Fisk, Brown and Bitner1993).
Bitner, Booms, and Tetreault (1990) found that over 23 percent of unforgettable satisfactory encounters in the service industries were directly due to event relating to the way service employees reaction to service failures. This finding exhibit that service system failures can be perceived as extremely satisfactory encounters if a proper recovery measure are taken, and make available further proof of the service recovery paradox. On the other hand, a frighteningly large proportion (43 percent) of dissatisfactory service encounters was due to employees' inability or reluctance to respond to service breakdown.
In a recent study of customer switching behavior in a wide variety of service industries (Keaveney 1995), service failures and failed recoveries accounted for almost 60 percent of the critical behaviors by service providers that led straight to customer switching. Of the 60 percent, 45 percent of these behaviors were referring to as the sole reason for the customers switching to another service provider. These percentages most likely underestimate the level of customer switching due to service failures since at least two other categories of critical behaviors, inconvenience and ethical problems, included various forms of service failures that led to customer switching, such as unreasonable waiting time (for the service or to get an engagement) and dishonest or intimidating behavior by service provider. In terms of customer defection, these results provide persuasive evidence of the potentially damaging clash of service failures followed by ineffective or non-existent service recoveries.
Johnston (1995) also used the critical incident technique to scrutinize the impact of service failure and recovery stumble upon on satisfaction and reported evidence of the importance of responsiveness, empathy, communication, flexibility, and friendliness in the service recovery procedure, across a variety of service industry surroundings.
Service encounters linking a failure and recovery provide the customer with new information thus that he/she can update his/her satisfaction and repatronage intent. Transaction-specific satisfaction (e.g., Oliver 1981; Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry 1994) is usually considered to be a post-choice evaluative verdict of a specific purchase and consumption experience (e.g., Anderson and Fornell 1994).
In a two-stage field study, consumers' intentions to contribute in a flu vaccination campaign depended on their satisfaction and attitudes towards a prior federal flu program (Oliver 1980). Similarly, Bearden and Teel (1983) showed that customers' intentions regarding automobile repair and service outlets depended on their approach, which were prejudiced by their satisfaction judgments. This notion is supported by many studies that show a positive correlation between cumulative satisfaction and repatronage intentions across individuals within the same firm (Churchill and Suprenant 1982; Oliver and DeSarbo 1988; Spreng, Harrell and Mackoy 1995).
In discussing the connection between customer satisfaction and repatronage intentions, managers and scholars have begun to distinguish between customer satisfaction and customer delight (e.g., Rust, Zahorik and Keiningham 1995).
This distinction is used to underline the notion that customers' repatronage intentions may become increasingly favorable at superior levels of satisfaction or unfavorable at inferior levels of satisfaction. For example, Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman (1993) have proposed the existence of a “zone of tolerance” beyond which customers respond more favorably to service.
Oliver, Rust and Varki (1997) squabble that delight is a combination of pleasure and arousal (whereas satisfaction is a mixture of pleasure and disconfirmation), and show that both satisfaction and delight can manipulate repatronage intentions.
In other words, it is not easy to observe the positive effects of service recovery when revival are “controlled” to be excellent, it will be tremendously challenging for firms to achieve these effects given the heterogeneity inherent to service employee behavior and the unpredictability in service failures that occur. Therefore, it may be risky and even somewhat dangerous for organizations to welcome service failures as opportunities to delight customers. Rather, organizations may be better served by spotlight on the importance of doing it right the very first time.
Most quantitative measures of service quality have used linear measures of performance, despite a suggestion that consumers' response to quality improvement may be non linear (Cronin 2003; Galloway 1999). One non-linear approach, empirically undeveloped, is the concept of “customer delight", defined as an unexpectedly high level of service quality which surpasses expectations (Cronin 2003). However, like experience, delight may be a transient concept, because today's delights form the basis of tomorrow's basic expectations.
First, we need to define what is meant by “Customer Experience” which the new generation of managers is set to manage. Unfortunately, there is no consistent understanding of the concept. Discussion of customers' experiences has along tradition in economic analysis, for example, Abbott (1955), cited in Holbrook (2006), noted that "What people actually desire are not products, but satisfying occurrence. People desire products because they want the experience which they expect the products will render.
One of the greatest challenges facing organizations today is the ever-growing competition, the continuous increase in customer expectation ( Joseph & Walker, 1988; Leonard & Sasser, 1982; Takeuchi & Quelch, 1983) and customers' subsequent demands as service improves (Ettorre, 1994).
According to Berry et al. (1988), service quality has become a great competitor and the most powerful competitive weapon which many leading service organizations possess. Service business success has been associated with the ability to deliver superior service (Gale, 1990; Rudie & Wansley, 1984).
Delivering superior service by maintaining high quality is a prerequisite for success (Parasuraman et al., 1988).
Leading service organizations strive to maintain a superior quality of service in an eþ ort to gain customer loyalty (Zeithaml & Bitner, 1996)
Evaluating the impact of service quality through customer retention will help companies to gauge the ® nancial impact of service quality (Zeithaml et al., 1996)
Service quality is one of the most dominant themes of research in services (Fisk et al., 1993). During its infancy, service quality research based its foresight on consumer behavior and the confrontation/ confrontation paradigm (Gronroos 1992). According to this paradigm, as customers consume a product, they evaluate the quality they have experienced to that of their previous expectations (Swan and Comb, 1976), which leads to an emotional response manifested in the satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the products or services purchased (Woodruþ et al., 1983)
Thus, instead of using quality concepts from manufacturing, services marketing researchers based their work on developing a service quality concept on models from consumer behavior (Brown et al., 1992).According to Lewis and Booms (1983), service quality is a measure of the degree to which the service delivered matches customer expectations.
Delivering quality service means conforming to customer expectations on a consistent basis. Extensive study on service quality conducted by researchers Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml have proposed the notion that service quality can be measured (Parasuraman et al., 1988, 1991b, 1994) using the SERVQUAL instrument and managed using expectations the performance gap model (Zeithaml et al., 1988; Zeithaml & Bitner, 1996).
Delivering superior quality of service has been recognized as the most eþ ective means of ensuring that a company's oþ erings stand out from a crowd of look-alike competitive oþ erings (Parasuraman et al., 1991a).
The customer's perception of quality of service is based on the degree of concordance between expectations and experience. Where comparability is apparent, the customer is deemed to be satisfied, however, in many cases, this will not be enough to create a competitive advantage. More and more, there is a need to oþ er superior service (Parasuraman, 1995) and to exceed customer expectations (Berry & Parasuraman, 1991; Klose, 1993; Wren, 1988) to delight the customer, as opposed to merely satisfying his/her needs (Brown et al., 1992; Timmers & van der Wiele, 1990).
Customers will remain loyal to a service organization if the value of what they receive is determined to be relatively greater than that expected from competitors (Zeithaml & Bitner, 1996).
Moreover, in the present competitive setting, if one were to understand the lifetime value of a customer (Zeithaml & Bitner, 1996), developing a long-term customer relationship is paramount (Gronroos, 1990b, 1991; Peters, 1988) to an organization's survival. Customers commonly desire personalized and close relationships with service providers (Parasuraman et al., 1991c); moreover, customers value the bene® ts of maintaining the relationship (Zeithaml et al., 1996).
Customer satisfaction no longer constitutes the convincing focus for success; it has been replaced by customer delight (Brown et al., 1992).
In today's competitive environment, customers' expectations and technological innovation demand that service leaders distinguish them selves from the competition by truly delighting the customer (Kandampully, 1997).
Customers' perception of exceptional service is often associated with the personal interaction of the employees (Kandampully, 1993). Services management literature has repeatedly emphasized the impor tance of the human element in the delivery of superior service (Crosby & Stephens, 1987; Gronroos , 1990b; Parasuraman et al., 1985; Solomon et al., 1985).
Service excellence is now an integral part of any superior service (Berry & Parasuraman, 1992), it is not the value-adding peripheral but actually constitutes the core of the service promise (Kandampully, 1996). In other words, quality was introduced to many ® elds of industry as an element designed to eþ ect competitive advantage (Berry et al., 1988; Berry & Parasuraman, 1991; Brunell et al., 1992; Peters & Waterman, 1982). Quality was thus conceived as a peripheral value-adding component of a service (Parasuraman et al., 1991b).
We now live in a service economy where relationships are becoming more important than physical products (Albrecht & Zemke, 1985a), in terms of both our business and our personal lives. Business is nothing but relationship (McCormic, 1988) and, within service industries, this relationship is an interactive process (Booms & Bitner, 1981).
Customer satisfaction and subsequent desire to develop a relationship emanates from the emotional connection to the service provider (Stauss, 1996). In many services, emotion is an element of the service delivery process (Kandampully, 1993)
The challenge for today's organizations is not merely to reach the top, but to stay there. If that is an organization's aim, its primary focus should be not merely to attract customers, but to obtain their loyalty and, thus, their patronage, not only for the current, but also for the long term. This loyalty, however, is the end result of an on-going, long-term relationship. Such relationships are founded on an organization's ability to maintain and extend its relationships with customers (Gummesson, 1994). According to Levitt (1983), buyer± seller interaction is similar to a marriage; the quality and duration, however, depends predominantly on the eý cacy with which the organization manages the relationship. Customer± supplier relationships are central to exceeding customer expectations (Parasuraman et al., 1991c).
Thus, it is apparent that customers cannot `try out' services; they purchase a service prior to experiencing it and must trust it to deliver the perceived service promise (Berry & Parasuraman, 1992).
Number of times we seek out to change our hairdresser, accountant or doctor. Our aim is to create an emotional connection with them; transference, however, becomes evident only when they fail to live up to their promise. According to Berry et al. (1990), breaking the service promise is the single most important way in which service companies fails their customers.
Christopher et al. (1991) express the view that there has been a change in the focus of marketing: transactional marketing emphasizes the individual sale, whereas relationship marketing is designed to eþ ect a long-term, on-going relationship. Gronroos (1990b) argues that developing and maintaining long-term relationships is of paramount importance to a ® rm's competitiveness.
Customer value is frequently referred to, but there is little or no common agreement, or mutual understanding about the concept (Woodruff 1997; Saliba & Fisher 2000; Sweeney & Soutar 2001). In several definitions, perceived value is described as a correlation between benefits and costs (Sinha & DeSarbo 1998; Saliba & Fisher 2000; Johnson & Weinstein 2004; Holbrook 2006).
According to Kano's theory of attractive quality (2001), success cannot be gained only by listening to what customers say. What needs to be gained is a deeper under-standing of the customers' latent needs. He has described the factors that influence customer purchase decisions as a model with three main factors: basic (must-be), performance (more is better or one-dimensional) and delight (excitement or attractive). Additional factors are ‘indifferent' and ‘reverse', but these add relatively little to this context. The basic factor must be met; otherwise the customer will react with disappointment or disgust. If all basic factors are met, the customer reaction is neutral.
Research generally supports the claim that word of mouth is more influential on behavior than other marketer-controlled sources. Indeed, it has been observed that WOM can be more influential than neutral print sources such as which and Consumer Reports (Herr et al., 1991).
Sheth (1971) concluded that WOM was more important than advertising in raising awareness of an innovation and in securing the decision to try the product. Day (1971) inferred that this was due to source reliability and the flexibility of interpersonal communication. He computed that WOM was nine times as effective as advertising at converting unfavorable or neutral predispositions into positive attitudes. Mangold's (1987) review of the impact of WOM in the professional services context concluded that WOM has a more emphatic influence on the purchasing decision than other sources of influence. This is perhaps because personal sources are viewed as more trustworthy (Murray, 1991). In the industrial purchasing context, WOM influences expectations and perceptions during the information search phase of the buying process and influences attitude during the pre-choice evaluation of alternative service providers (Lynn, 1987; Stock and Zinsner, 1987; Woodside et al., 1992). The influence of WOM on expectations has been reported by Webster (1991) and Zeithaml et al. (1993).
WOM can influence decisions either positively (Engel et al., 1969; Richins, 1983) or negatively (Tybout et al., 1981; Bolfing, 1989). It does appear that negative WOM has a more powerful impact than positive WOM (Arndt, 1967). Technical Assistance Research Program (1986, p. 4), for example, reported that dissatisfied customers are likely to tell twice as many people as satisfied customers. Desatnick (1987), citing research conducted especially for the White House Office of the Consumer Affairs asserted that 90% or more who are dissatisfied with the service they receive will not buy again or come back. Worse still, each of individuals unhappy customers will tell his or her story to at least 9 additional people, and 13%of those unhappy former customers will tell their stories to more than 20 people'. It is not reported to how many these WOM recipients retell the story.
Arndt (1967) was one of the earliest researchers into the influence of WOM on consumer behavior. He characterized WOM as verbal, person-to-person communication between a receiver and a communicator whom the receiver perceives as non-commercial, concerning a brand, product or service.
According to File et al. (1994) not only the valence but also the volume of post-purchase WOM can be affected by management efforts. These authors cited evidence that the measured impacts of complaints management processes, service recovery programs and unconditional service assurance on post-purchase WOM is clear evidence that management can influence the occurrence and direction of WOM.
There is some early evidence that WOM is driven not only by product service performance but by dissatisfaction with the purchasing process (Tanner, 1996).
Hirschman (1970) proposed that customers have two options when countenance with unmet expectations: voice their dissatisfaction or leave the relationship. There is general support for the contention that customers dissatisfied with durables will exhibit higher levels of voice and lower levels of exit than for non-durables (Watkins and Liu, 1996). Singh (1990) explained this phenomenon in terms of the relative investment of the customer in the product=service and, thus, the value of any redress.
Customer delight can be defined as “an emotion, characterized by high levels of joy and surprise, felt by a customer towards a company or its offering (product/ service)” (Kumar 1996, p. 9). Thus, customer delight is defined as a rather positive emotional state towards the purchase/consumption experience, generally derived from the surprisingly positive disconfirmation level of perceived performance (Oliver et al. 1997; Rust and Oliver 2000). Delight would be characterized as an emotion made up of cognitive and affective aspects, including here surprise (Kumar 1996). In this sense, Izard (1997) clarifies that even the cognitive concepts inherent in satisfaction and, consequently, in customer delight - such as need and desire -, and its comparative standards are considered affective by nature or, at least, as having an affective component.
The differentiation basically occurs at an arousal level of the positive emotional response: at a low level there lies satisfaction; at a high level, delight (Oliver and Westbrook 1993).
As Plutchik's (1980) research and the circumplex model of emotions appears to be one of the earliest and most common source for labeling delight as a combination of joy and surprise, we review the work of which led Plutchik to conclude that delight was comprised of joy and surprise.Plutchik carried out two studies to determine what emotions resulted from the different combination of pairs of basic emotions. Basic emotions were supposed to be emotions that were instinctual and universal among all the human begins (or even among all mammals) and Plutchik had eight emotions which were considered basic and made up one layer of his cirumplex model of emotion.
In one study , Plutchik's gave a group of subjects a list of emotions that made up each of these “complex” emotions and asked them to name the basic emotions that made up each these complex emotions(the complex emotions were made up of the basic emotions and they coyld be primary, secondary or tertiary emotions depending on the whether they were comprised of adjacent pairs of basic emotions or emotions once removed or twice removed from each other on Plutchik's circumplex model).Based on converging responses from a majority of respondents , different combinations of primary emotions were said to result in particular kinds of complex emotions. For example, Plutchik's study revealed that subject indicated that emotion of delight would be comprised of joy and surprise. Based on this finding, Plutchik's labeled delight as tertiary emotion of joy and surprise and this study continues to be main source for identifying joy and surprise as the constituents of delight.
Schactel (1959) distinguishes between two kinds of the joy “Magic” joy and “real” joy, thus raising the possibilities that their may be two kinds of delight-one based on “magic” joy and one based on “real” joy. Magic joy is a short-lived experience when a person feels that the unexpected fulfillment of a wish or need can (or will) change his/her situation. the person experience such joy usually expects the fulfillment of the need to have come through good luck or fate and not through efforts(own or other)>the other type of joy called “real” joy, can result from any ongoing activity which brings an individual into contact, physically and or mentally, with some aspect of the world around him/her (Schacte 1959,Goldstein 1951).This kind of joy is based on the activity which triggers a feeling of relatedness between a person and stimulus e.g customer and a firm or product. Real joy may result from an event which was caused by one's own effort or by the effort of others. it is not dependent on the unexpected fulfillment of a wish. Thus, The event evoking” real” joy could be high or low in surprise, whereas the event evoking magic joy has to be surprising (and attributed to luck or circumstances ).
Till now the literature for customer satisfaction is only studied and proved but the customer delight for a customer is never been researched. For sound conceptual background for investigation customer delight in banking sector, an explorative qualitative study was undertaken to investigate the concept of customer delight in the mind of the customers especially for banking sector.
Almost all the banks are providing homogenous services; our main emphasis is on the customer reaction toward services provided by them and the experience they faced when they felt excited and delighted from their bank. Focus group interview with the customers was the main part of our research. Which provide us the basis eliminates or situation, which creates customer delighted.
Creating the base for our focused group interview we distributed an open ended questionnaire. In which the customer was asked to write the situation where they felt excited or delighted by the service bank has provided them when they really required. We received many situations describe by the customer where they received the service which made them delighted. Every single response was carefully studied and put under same category where situations where same alike.
A Total of 8 focused interviews was conducted Focused group were consist of respondents from all walks of life including House wife's, Businessman, Employees, students. Every focused interview was based on the category which responded response in the questionnaires.
Discussion regarding their response to a questionnaire provided the opportunity for the respondent to explain in details regarding its moment of excited or delight from its bank service. Questions asked by the moderator to bring the respondent to exact reason why the customer felt delighted. Every respondent provided the opportunity to elaborate there experience to reach the moment or reason of delight they felt from the service.
Insights from Exploratory Investigation
From the exploratory investigation remarkably is a complete different pattern of customer delight came out, which is totally different from normal services provided by the banks to the customers. Account holders were satisfied from the service provided by the bank as almost all the bank is providing the same type and quality of services but what made the customers delight were the occasion when they were offered or received out the way service from their bank ,which they never expected or never received before.
All the delights of the customers were situation and occasion based as what they have experienced in their daily routine. Outcomes were categorized into the related field as what customer felt delight from the service.
Insight from Focused Interviews:
Insights from the focused interviews, we summaries the categories of the situation or the time when customer has felt delighted from the bank service.
Outcomes was surprising as the customer felt delighted were not from the homogeneous services provided by the banks but from the acts which customer has received from the banks other then their normal day routine.
Account holders explained in details regarding the situation which they have felt from their bank which caused delight. Customer's replies were investigated to reach the exact moment at the time they received a delightful service from their bank.
As the respondents were from different walks of life so their perception toward the delight were also different. If the respondent was already getting same service from his bank then there was no reason to be delighted from the instrument we have purposed. Reactions were very important of customer toward the situation they were asked about as delight is all about the over whelming experience for the customer.
Every focused group interview session was categories under 8 varaible, which become the fundamental elements of customer delight model. Respondent reached the concession that 8 variables, which were the outcome from the exploratory studies were eliminates, which made them delight from the service.
Establishing of Customer Delight Model:
After completing the focused group interviews and gathering the data of the interviews. We came to understanding to establish the customer delight model as per the out comes from interviews.
Model was consist of Eight variables, which was sub defined as per the perception of the respondents. Among Eight variables ,Six variable had clear understand in the mind of customer that it is the factor or elements which create customer delight but remaining two had some discussion and it varied as per perception on the respondents. Our researched included all eight variables to validate our research.
Customer Delight Model
The foundation of this model is set by the focused interviews of the customers, at the time they felt delighted by the services of their bank. The determents of the customer delighted by the customer are summarized into the specific reasons for what they felt delighted.
Unusual Ambiancemean unique outlook of the bank
- Stylish interior.
- Proper waiting area.
- Organized work stations.
- Well dressed Employee's.
Problem solving gesturesmeans willingness to solve any problem.
Employee's willingness of problems solving.
Problem solving Guidance.
Caring means Care for the every customer
- Caring behavior toward customer.
- Looking after every customer.
- Special treatment for deserving customers.
Giving Undue Favormeans providing service more then customer deserves.
- Extra benefit for old customers.
- Critical decisions on Individual reputation.
- Going step ahead of authority for customer problem solving.
Bypassing the system to helpmeans bypassing lengthy procedure for customer relief
- Leaving unnecessary procedures.
- Shorten the cycle of customer documentations process.
Helpfulmeans recognized the problem and Proper Guidance
- Positive attitude toward customer problem.
- Proper guidance towards Policies and procedures.
Prompt Feedbackmean on spot Feedback from the management for complains.
- Accountability of the employees
- Positive response for complains.
- Prompt action regarding customer complains.
Giving a VIP feel means every customer is a king
- Service with a smile.
- No discrimination among customers.
- Treating every customer with a value.
- Giving celebrity treatment to the customer.
A questionnaire in English was designed which incorporated the measures mention in the customer delight model. A total of 300 questionnaires were randomly circulated to those using different bank services. To make sure the questionnaire are fully understand ,every question was explained one by one to customer so that he/she can easily differentiate between customer satisfaction and customer delight. To make more comfortable for the respondent definition of customer delight, customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction was also pasted on the top of the questionnaire.
To widen our research data collection, an online questionnaire was specially designed to record the responses of customers from different cities over the Pakistan. So that we should take account not only the respondent of Karachi but also provide opportunity for customer of other cities to participate in customer delight research.
Around 180 questionnaires were filled by meeting the customer face to face and remaining filled by online questionnaire, which include Karachi as well as other cities respondents. In almost 2 months of duration, 300 respondent's data was collected.
The questionnaire included a section on customer profile, as various demographic factors to support our research.infomration on demographic features are also useful in formulating the banks marketing strategy.
The study of demographics of the respondents would give us the guidance to analysis the individual perception toward customer delight. Demographics factors include such as gender, bank account, income level and area of living. This will help to generalize the perception of individual responding to our questionnaire.