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Relationship Quality and Customer Satisfaction

Satisfaction and quality Satisfaction is the reaction of the customer to a consumption experience.
Product quality is one of the factors that create satisfaction, and must therefore be monitored by an organization that wishes to create satisfied customers.
The problems surrounding the definition of quality are similar to those of satisfaction.
Mechanistic vs humanistic quality Holbrook and Corfman (1985) make the distinction between mechanistic and humanistic quality: 'mechanistic involves an objective aspect of a thing or event; humanistic involves the subjective response to objects and is therefore a highly relativistic phenomenon that differs between judges'.
Juran and Gryna (1988) accommodate a degree of subjectivity in their definition of quality as 'Fitness for purpose'.
Behind this definition is the assumption that producers must understand the use to which products will be put by the customer, since the product's ability to fulfill that use will form the basis for judgments on quality.
Although Juran's definition allows for some subjectivity, the quality of most consumer goods cannot be defined in easily measurable terms.
Subjective criteria such as design, brand reputation and corporate image play a significant role in customers' perceptions of quality.
When the product is a service, the lack of tangible evidence on which to base judgment and the inherent variability of the product allow for still greater subjectivity.
Work on the management of service quality, notably by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985), supports the view that customers' judgments about product quality are made in the same way as those on satisfaction, i.
that disconfirmation directly influences perceived quality.
Parasuaraman et al.
developed a method, known as SERVQUAL, for measuring service quality.
This is a research tool involving two questionnaires, one measuring customers' expectations before a specific transaction, the second measuring perceptions of performance afterwards.
The difference between the scores on the two questionnaires provides perceived quality scores.
SERVQUAL has been used in a number service sectors and found to accurately measure levels of quality and identify the nature of quality failures.

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