Mini Review

Limitations in Customer Satisfaction Research from the Viewpoint of Benefit Delay

Author: Kazuhiro FUJIMURA

Traditional customer satisfaction research basically assumes that customer satisfaction is determined by comparing customer expectations and the perceived performance of the service or goods received. It is also often said that services are produced and consumed at the same time. However, at the point of service consumption, customers are not always able to enjoy the expected benefits of the service instantaneously, referred to as “Benefit Delay”. In the context of service consumption where Benefit Delay occurs, often, even when the service is unable to solve the important problems that motivated its consumption, customers tend to evaluate it as “satisfactory.” Thus, customer satisfaction is not only determined by the customer’s expectations of the service and what it offers but also by other factors. Moreover, although customers may indicate that they are “satisfied,” the reasons for their satisfaction may be completely different. In this paper, we attempt to address why customer satisfaction research should also take into consideration the characteristics of the service as well as a customer’s tendency to avoid participation in the service delivery process. We do this by examining customer satisfaction in the consumption of services where “Benefit Delay” occurs.