Customer would have a certain perspective of the service based on what form of expectations they had about the service. The expectations would exist because they were promised something in an initial advertisement perhaps. For the service to be truly satisfying, it is necessary for the business to follow up on a promise. Where there are gaps between the expectation of the customer, the perceptions and the actual service quality, then the customer is definitely not satisfied and this could be a problem. Herein it becomes necessary to conduct background research into understanding if such gaps exist based on expectations.
The main topic selected is evaluating customer satisfaction of Amazon services by collecting data on service quality and customer expectations. This research focuses on two main subtopics which are that of 1) the service gaps in quality perceived by Amazon customers based on their services and 2) customer expectations. These two issues are assessed by means of two tools. For understanding service gap issues, the SERVQUAL tool is used. The gaps thus discussed above are called the service quality gaps and are part of the SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman et al., 1988). Excellent service should seek to minimize these gaps. Secondly, for the assessment of customer expectations, the tool is used. According to this, the expectations of the customer lie within a range between ideal conformance with expectations and intolerable. Now while customers might certainly accept some form of range that lies between ideal performance and intolerable performance in spite an expectations and perceptions gap, they would be terribly disappointed with performance drop beyond the tolerance zone.
The service processes selected are the Amazon services. Purchase action on the website is translated into delivery action for the customer. Each of the services is time scheduled. The actors involved in this service interaction are primarily the customers. Amazon provides a variety of services to customers, business partners such as the sellers, marketing services for third parties, etc. However, this discussion will only consider services as observed from the context of customers who place orders on Amazon. They are connected to the product listings of third party sellers registered on the Amazon site. The customer services as observed from a direct purchase experience are as follows. Firstly, the customer logs on to the amazon site; they can be a registered customer or a casual visitor. The customer is first offered browsing and search services within the site. The customer would be able to look up products they want to buy on the site. They can either search for the product on the site or they would be able to look it up through directory listings on the site. There are different categories available from which they can look up the product. Once they have hit upon a product listing that they want to purchase, the customer then proceeds to look at product details. Now the customer could have interacted with such a product in the brick and mortar world. Now because of the direct interactions, their expectations are well defined in terms of quality and services expected. On the other hand, if they are looking at the product for the first time, then they would probably take time to observe the product details, the pictures of the product, and the uses that can be derived from the product, etc. Now after viewing these details, the customer goes on to make an order. The order is received at site and is processed and completed within a certain time frame. The service quality for ordering from Amazon might be assessed by customer based on how interactive the site was, or how it was easy to make an order on the site, how informed they were of the site, their expectations of the site, their expectations in the product delivery process speed, the respectful nature of the Amazon affiliated courier persons, etc.
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