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Managing customer expectations

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Introduction

Marketing experts have suggested that for companies to be successfully in this competitive business world, they must meet or even surpass customer expectations so that the companies can attain customer satisfaction. However, customer expectations are not standard and fixed, they keep on changing, as they can grow up or shrink down, take a different direction or form, and they can be infeasible, unjustifiable or even unproductive to attain. At the end, how the customers are satisfied or not satisfied depends on how a company handles these expectations and the way the company performs in meeting these expectations.

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As such companies have a major challenge in making sure that its customers are satisfied. Nonetheless it is true that consumer satisfaction is affected by an intricate interconnection of various factors. But, as Gronroos (2000) notes, customer satisfaction levels is basically influenced by the customer expectations changes or through the company’s performance. Complaints of customer can be used to measure the customers’ discontent with the service or product quality, in a case where the quality depends on the service being provided, customer satisfaction may be measured through expectations and also the real experience of the service quality.

 

Company selected: Emirates Company profile

Emirates airline is an airline company which is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East. The company is the biggest airline in the region operating passenger service. It has more than 2,350 flights per week flying to more than 91 cities in over than 61 countries located in six continents. It offers cargo services by use of its Emirates Sky cargo name. The company is based in Dubai international airport. Over 50 % of flights movements in and out of the Dubai airport are carried out by Emirates airplanes, and it is projected that by 2010 the figure will increase to 70%. The airline was established in 1985 by the government of Dubai and it has had a phenomenal growth to be among the largest airline not only in Asia but in the whole world. Emirates has a very strong brand image has been able to get various international wards, and it is set high standards in the industry of aircraft purchasing, service, safety and innovation. In Asia it is ranked as the tenth largest airline, and it is ninth in terms of international passenger volume. (Directory, 2007)

 

Customer satisfaction

A customer being the most important person, customer satisfaction is very important; this paper will try to find out the level of satisfaction of the customers of Emirates Airline in relation to their expectations regarding the services provided by the airline which is reputed for high quality. (USAToday, 2007)

 

Customer satisfaction in airline industry

Airline passengers currently are being ranked among some of the companies with customer who are not satisfied with the services they receive. In a report carried out in 2007, it showed that airline industry cored only 63% out of a total mark of 100%, which was below the 65% a score that the airline scored in 2006 and it was the airlines lowest score since 2001. The report was based on 80, 000 consumers who were interviewed about the level of customer satisfaction in the industry. (USAToday, 2007)

 

Explanation of personal expectations and the reasons for these expectations

When I decided to use Emirates Airlines to travel to an overseas trip that I had to take I expected some level of satisfaction from the company. In deed want almost all customers expect from this company or any other company is usually reasonable and can be easily achieved by the company. As a customer want mattered to me most and what I expected from the company is being treated with respect by the company, through being listened to and receiving world class services. Stated below are a few other expectations that a customer expects from Emirates Airline

Competent and efficient services from the company
Anticipation of the customer’s requirement by the company
Fast feedback or replies to complains or inquiries
Honesty and integrity
Basic courtesies from the staff
Professional services and
Knowledgeable assistance from the help desk
Reasons for these expectations

Emirate Airline customer service and care is reported to be high and it is argued that the main reason to its success is because of the measures taken by the entire management in response in satisfying the ever changing customers needs and expectations.  Emirates Airlines has been credited with building a strong customer orientation which has enhanced the success of organization. The company formulated its products and services according to global trends. Thus, any customer using the airline has high expectations from the company in terms of customer satisfaction. (Doganis, 2001)

 

How service was delivered in relation to these expectations pre & post-arrival

In terms of customer satisfaction, emirates have been at forefront insetting global standards by offering the best quality possible. The airline has acquired the most combatable and sophisticated aircrafts; the Boeing class, which offers high comfort to passengers. The airline has also embraced advanced technology which it offers it customers to ensure that they are very comfortable. The plan is to ensure that customers who use the airline have nothing to complain about the airline. Thus customer satisfaction and happiness is what the company focus to ensure that it retains its customers.

 

In explaining how emirates delivery its services before and after arrival, one can use the following three aspects to explain this,

Timeliness
Accuracy
Appropriateness
Timeliness

Delivery within three days’ or calls answered in 30 seconds’ is expressions which give the essence of a service standard which involves a timeline. Such statements require to be defined specifically prior to being considered as correct service standards. Emirates answered my phones promptly and booking was done instantly. More so the customer care personnel were very courteous and offered vital information regarding travelling information required.

 

Accuracy

Customers always expect accurate information from an organization and accurate deliveries; they expect 100% of accuracy of services from a company. Emirate offered correct and accurate information in terms of departure times and what I was to expecting nothing was untrue. Thus, I was highly impressed by their honest and correct information (Gronroos, 2000)

 

Appropriateness

Appropriateness regards ensuring that the customers’ expectations have been responded to, mainly in an enquiry situation. For example, a customer writes to a company with a four-part enquiry. The customer receives a reply that is instant, absolutely correct in what it says – except fails to tackle two of the four topics in the initial enquiry. Such a reply would fail the suitability standard – basing on a 100% expectation. However, in relation to emirates the company was appropriate in its dealing with me and went an extra mile in to fulfil my expectations through providing adequate information regarding the services their offered. (Gronroos, 2000)

 

After arrival

Emirate airline provides 24/7 customer centre, the efficiencies and satisfaction of this centres are high especially when it comes to customer satisfaction in providing information and assisting customer locating where to take their flight from, luggage, and  security checks. The customer care services are highly professional and we organized in the way they handle their duties making them more efficient.  (Huff, 2007) Chances are that the next time such a customer is travelling he/she will use the airline again. Accordingly, it becomes important that airline customer care personnel try and assisted the customer to be able get satisfied. (Huff, 2007)

 

How expectations were assessed & satisfaction levels measured by this organization

The company carries out regular market research concerning its customer satisfaction. During these researches customers are fill some questionnaires meant to measure the level of customer satisfaction and also offer their suggestions on areas which needs improvements. This business research is geared towards finding out how the company respond to customers’ complaints, suggestions and comments. Do the customers feel that the company is making some improvements or the customers feel let down? Therefore, the research is used in finding out the level of customer satisfaction and how the company can improve its service delivery.  Some other ways which the airline undertakes to measure the customer expectations are:

Best practices
Setting benchmarks for the staff and the organization as a whole
Frequent progress reports to customers and the employees
Self assessment of the organization
regular monitoring of customer services  provided and how complaints are handled
Organization’s methods of ensuring that customer satisfaction is achieved

Emirates has built a corporate culture of going to an extra mile to ensure that customers are given the best services which they can depend on  the company has received several global awards as being the best airline. This shows how effective the airline is.

 

Emirates Airlines have been a leader in innovation and in changing its operations according to the global trends and customer needs that keeps on changing. The industry changes its operations through organization structure and culture which has developed from regional to global culture and being able to offer more customer oriented services such as offering more economy passenger services and increasing the number of flights and destinations. (Morrison and Winston, 1997)

 

Emirates Airlines has also responded well in terms of new technologies that come up as a result of globalization. The company has incorporated the use of new technologies in production and operations activities which have seen significant management efficiency and thus attaining the company’s leadership.

 

Emirates Company has been able capture a large segment of market because of its speed in responding to customer needs in a changing environment. The company invests highly in technology on its modern flight boasting as having one of the biggest single Boeing 777 aircrafts fleet which is renowned for its high efficiency. Yet again the Emirates have been able to offer low prices despite the fact it is offering high quality service. In addition it is among the most cost effective airlines in the world. (Butler & Keller, 2000) The above measures have enabled the company to respond well to customer expectations and meet most of them if not all of them.

 

Conclusion

Customers remain a vital stakeholder of an industry, their satisfaction is important in ensuring those customers are retained. The issue of customer expectations and satisfaction have been addressed well by the Emirates airline company. Emirates airlines has been able to be successful in its business because of it effective customer oriented products and services, the company responds well to the expectations of the customers and it goes an extra mile in ensuring that its customers are satisfied. This is achieved through taking into account the customer wants and needs when providing its services. The company also carries out regular checks to ensure that it continues to fulfil the expectations of its customer. It is clear that, customers’ satisfaction depends on how a company handles the expectations of customers and the way the company performs in meeting these expectations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

Butler, G.F., Keller, M.R. (2000): Handbook of Airline Operations. Aviation Week;

McGraw-Hill Companies

 

Directory: (2007): World Airlines; Flight International.

 

Doganis, R. (2002): Flying off Course: The Economics of International Airlines, 3rd edition: Routledge, New York.

 

Doganis, R. (2001): The Airline Business in the 21st Century: Routledge, New York,

 

Gronroos, C. (2000): Service Management and Marketing; A Customer Relationship Management Approach, Second Edition, Wiley, New York

 

Huff, A (2007): Spotlight on Customer Service; Will RFID Improve Customer Expectation and Service? Retrieved from: www.airportbusiness.com   Accessed on 26/4/2008

 

Morrison S. and Winston C. (1997): The fare skies: Air transportation and Middle America, Brookings Fall,

 

Smith, M. J.  (2002): The airline encyclopaedia, 1909-2000; Scarecrow Press

 

USAToday (2007): airline customer satisfaction; retrieved from; www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2007  accessed on 26/4/2008

 

 

 

 

 

Cite this Managing customer expectations

Managing customer expectations. (2017, Mar 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/managing-customer-expectations/

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