Reviewing Waiting Time and Customer Satisfaction in a Service Process

Purpose – The intent of this paper is to show a literature reappraisal that high spots major findings from empirical research analyzing the impact of waiting clip on client satisfaction within assorted service scenes.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The paper examines the consequences of past surveies that have manipulated specific service scenes ( layout, fillers, milieus, resources ) and attempts to place variables that cause less dissatisfaction in a service procedure.

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Findingss – A big figure of surveies reveal negative influence of waiting clip on client satisfaction. Future research proposals seek to place the grade of satisfaction in a service bringing procedure.

Originality/Value – The reappraisal highlights a scope of deductions drawn from the surveies that will be of value to serve organisation directors who face high client dissatisfaction and low repetition clients.

Keywords Service bringing procedure, Customer service quality, Customer satisfaction, Waiting clip

Paper type Literature reappraisal


The public presentation of a service bringing system is reciprocally relative to the grade of client ‘s contact ( Chase, 1982 ) . The more the client stopping point to the service system, the longer the client waiting times in the service bringing system. This cost of longer waiting times in the system can be attributed to ( I ) the client walking off from the system and articulation someplace else ( two ) the client ‘s determination non to come back once more in the hereafter and ( three ) the client go throughing negative experiences to approach and dear 1s like household and friends. Many surveies emphasize the relationship between client satisfaction in a service procedure and their trueness ( Anderson, 1994 ; Dick and Basu, 1994 ; Fornell et al. , 1996 ; Selness, 2001 ; Mittal and Kamakura, 2001 ; Olsen, 2002 ) . The cost of these behaviours by the client is really hard to cipher but decidedly the gross revenues will travel down with each unhappy client as the cost of retaining a satisfied client is less than a freshly acquired client ( Reichheld, 1996 ) .

Harmonizing to Lovelock and Gummesson ( 2004 ) clip plays the cardinal function in most of the services procedures and they recommend giving more attending to bettering the clients ‘ apprehension of how they perceive, budget, consume and value clip. Many surveies focus on the relationship between waiting clip and client satisfaction in a service procedure ( Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Pruyn and Smidts, 1998 ) .

Therefore the client ‘s satisfaction can be regarded as the span between operational public presentation of the service house and subsequent impact on the behaviour of the client towards the service house. In this survey we are seeking to understand the factors responsible for disgruntled client in a service environment and how it can be minimized through proper and timely allotment of resources in the service procedure system.

Literature Review

Waiting Time

Time has normally been regarded as a important constituent of the entire cost of a dealing, doing clients aware that their clip is most valuable ( Anderson and Shugan, 1991 ; Jacoby et al. , 1976 ; Kellaris and Kent, 1992 ) . Past research has suggested assorted dimensions of clip that include: gait, urgency, sequencing, separation, programming, continuance, promptness, flexibleness, one-dimensionality, synchronism and present and future clip positions ( Ballard and Seibold, 2004 ; Owen, 1991 ; Moore, 1963, Lauer, 1981 ) .

The waiting clip job has become an of import portion of service supplier ‘s precedences as today ‘s clients are going intolerance to waiting clip in a service procedure. Further, consumers do non measure service quality entirely on the result of service, but they evaluate it on the footing of service bringing procedure and clip is the most of import factor for measuring client satisfaction in a service procedure ( Davis and Vollmann, 1990 ; Friedman and Friedman, 1997 ) . Additionally waiting tine is the make up one’s minding factor for service ratings for many consumers as they value clip more than of all time. It is besides of import to notice in which phase the client is experiencing dissatisfaction in a service brush. Harmonizing to Dube-Rioux et Al. ( 1989 ) , the service brush has three stages: pre- procedure, in- procedure and post- procedure. Research has shown that there is causal consequence of service phase, as mentioned by Dube-Rioux ( 1989 ) , and service holds on consumer ‘s reaction to waiting ( Hui et al. , 1998 ; Dube et al. , 1991 ; Dube-Rioux et al. , 1989 ) . Dube-Rioux et Al. ( 1989 ) argue that service holds were less unpleasant than service entry or service issue waits as Hansen and Danaher ( 1999 ) showed that service issue exerts a important consequence on consumer ‘s perceptual experience of service quality and station purchase behaviour.

Waiting is considered a negative experience from both the economic every bit good as psychological position. Further waiting clip is frequently used as a replacement for cost. The waiting clip is an of import constituent of clients overall rating of the service ( Peritz, 1993 ) . Besides the sum of clip they spend while check-out procedure from a shop influences the overall satisfaction degree of the client ( Katz, Larsen, Blaire and Larsen, 1991 ) . Further, research has shown that long delaies have a negative consequence on client satisfaction ( Chebat and Filiatrault, 1993 ) .

Waiting clip is frequently regarded as a waste of clip ( Leclerc, Schmitt and Dube, 1995 ; Schwartz, 1975 ; Rafaeli, 1989 ; Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Sheu et al. , 2003 ) and has been described as thwarting drilling and irritating ( Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Katz et al. , 1991 ) . Harmonizing to McDonnell ( 2007 ) , choler and defeat are more likely to go on at bank subdivisions and fiscal establishments than many other service contact points. Further, research has shown that many consumers dislike waiting in a waiting line which consequences in a negative service quality rating ( Krentler, 1988 ; Kumar et al. , 1997 ; Houston et al. , 1998 ; Ho and Zheng, 2004 ) .

The consumer ‘s waiting experience has the direct influence on the perceptual experience of service quality ( Soloman, Bamossy and Askeggard, 1999 ) . For, delay is considered as a delay prior to being served. Apart from income and monetary value, clip is considered as a restraint in consumer buying pick ( Becker, 1965 ; Umesh et al. , 1989 ) .

Many research workers have tried to work out waiting clip by supplying assorted schemes like waiting clip fillers such as addition of front line employees, picture show, intelligence updates or waiting clip warrants ( Kumar, Kalwani and Dada, 1997 ) , but failed to extinguish the waiting clip dissatisfaction wholly. Music can play an of import function in cut downing dissatisfaction degrees for consumers waiting in line ( Steve and Oakes, 2008 ) .

A waiting clip has four dimensions: Objective, subjective, cognitive and effectual:

Davis and Vollman, 1990 ; Katz et al. , 1991 ; Taylor, 1994 ) advocator that nonsubjective waiting clip is the elapsed clip as measured by a halt ticker by the client before being served.

The subjective waiting clip is the sensed waiting clip by the client ( Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Pruyn and Smidts, 1998 ) .

The cognitive waiting clip is the clients ‘ rating of the delay as short versus long ( Pruyn and Smidts, 1998 ) , being ( or non being ) acceptable, sensible and tolerable ( Durrande- Mpreau, 1999 ) .

The affectional facet of the waiting clip is the emotional response to waiting like annoyance, ennui, defeat, pleasance, emphasis, felicity etcaˆ¦ ( Taylor, 1994 ; Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Pruyn and Smidts, 1998 ) .

However the sensed waiting clip is different from nonsubjective waiting clip ( Barnett and Saponaro, 1985 ; Hirsch, Bilger and Heatherage, 1950 ; Hornik, 1984 ) .

The consequence of waiting clip on clients ‘ perceptual experiences of client satisfaction relates positively to the delay to the client and moderated by the ground for the delay ( Nicole and Tony, 2006 ) . Besides the perceptual experience of waiting clip is affected by anxiousness degree and queue length ( Hornik, 1984 ; Maister, 1984 ) .

The delay dissatisfaction in a service procedure can be lowered if the overall service meets the client ‘s outlooks. Customers are willing to wait if they anticipate benefits through the ingestion of a service ( Zeithaml et al. , 1993 ) .

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is of extreme importance to the service suppliers and bookmans ( Babin and Griffin, 1998 ; Oliver, 1999 ) in today ‘s extremely competitory concern environment.

Customer satisfaction is conceived to be portion of an overall theoretical account of client behaviour ( Bearden and Teele, 1983 ) . One such theoretical account presented by Oliver ( 1980 ) is shown in the figure below ( Figure 1 ) .

The Role of Satisfaction in a Customer Behavior Model













Future Behavior

Figure 1

Sasser et Al. ( 1978 ) identify three different theoretical accounts by which clients evaluate overall satisfaction with a service. These are:

One overmastering property

A individual property with threshold lower limits for other properties

A leaden norm of properties

Harmonizing to the anticipation disconfirmation theoretical account, satisfaction/ dissatisfaction is a map of outlooks and disconfirmations of the consumer ( Oliver, 1980 ; Oliver and DeSabro, 1988 ) . Harmonizing to Davis and Heineke ( 1998 ) , “ clients ‘ reaction to waiting in line can colourise his/her perceptual experience of the service bringing procedure ” . Further, client satisfaction is affected non merely by waiting clip but besides by the clients ‘ outlooks or ascription or finding of the causes for the waiting ( Bitner, 1990 ; Churchill and Suprenant, 1982 ; Folkes, 1984 ; Folkes, Koletsky and Graham, 1987 ; Maister, 1985 ; Oliver, 1980 ; Shostack, 1985 ; Taylor, 1994 ; Tom and Lucey, 1995 ; Tse and Wilton, 1988 ) . Besides in a service holds, the phase in which a hold occurs within a service brush affects client ratings of the service quality ( Dube et al. , 1989 ; , Hui et al. , 1998 ) .

The overestimating of waiting clip by the consumers ( Hornik, 1984 ; Katz, Larson and Larson, 1991 ) leads to more dissatisfaction as client ‘s perceptual experience of waiting clip additions, the satisfaction tends to diminish ( Katz et al. , 1991 ) .

Customer satisfaction is reciprocally related to waiting clip ( Davis and Maggard, 1990 ) ; that is the longer a client delaies, the less satisfied or more disgruntled he/she becomes with the service procedure. In their survey on two phase service procedure, they found that client satisfaction is more affected by the initial delay of the client prior to come ining the service procedure, than it is by subsequent delaies in the procedure. Their survey was supported by Sasser, Olsen and Wyckoff ( 1978 ) and Maister ( 1985 ) .Davis and Maggard ( 1990 ) suggest direction to give excess clip and resources toward initial phase of the delay. This precedence is necessary because a disgruntled eating house client Tells fifty other people about his/her dissatisfaction ( Lyth and Johnson, 1998 ) .

Parasuraman et Al ‘s ( 1985 ) survey on relationship between waiting clip and sensed service quality has been widely accepted by the research and industry communities. The spread between the perceptual experience and outlook for waiting experience determines the client satisfaction with waiting ( Maister, 1985 ) .

Davis and Vollman ( 1990 ) argue that in most of the service operations, client outlooks and satisfaction with regard to waiting clip are dependent on many factors including: The client ‘s anterior experience, the figure of clients in the service installation, criticalness of clip to the client and other distractions, intended or otherwise.

Harmonizing to Hornik ( 1984 ) consumers frequently inclined to overrate clip spent on waiting and the hold can act upon affectional reactions ( Dube-Rioux et al. , 1989 ; Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Taylor, 1994 ) . Prior research suggests that herding at the service procedure besides affects the client ‘s satisfaction ( Eroglu et al. , 2005 ; Michon et al. , 2005 ) . That means a perceptual experience of highly un -crowded and highly crowded environments at the service country lead to lower client satisfaction. This means the service directors should apportion human resources sagely when the crowd is low. Conversely, more figure of service personals should be devoted when the crowd is really high.

Taylor ( 1994 ) argues that clients ‘ choler and their rating of promptness affect the overall public presentation of a service procedure. The clients ‘ satisfaction with delay is besides influenced by clients ‘ perceptual experience of service suppliers societal justness ( Larson, 1987 ) that is whether the supplier is adhering to first come foremost serve footing or non. Piyush et Al. ( 1997 ) argue that the client satisfaction in delay is besides influenced by the waiting clip warrant provided by the service suppliers.

Customer satisfaction in a retail scene has been linked to a figure of of import results, including gross revenues public presentation, client keeping and trueness ( Darian et al. , 2001 ; Wong and Sohal, 2003 ; Gomez et al. , 2004 ; Anselsson, 2006 ; Martenson, 2007 ) . Apart from retail, the client satisfaction is a requirement for other client service outcomes including client keeping and client trueness, sales/profitability and market portion for many organisations ( Hackl and Westlund, 2000 ; Reichheld, 1996 ) as losing a client consequence in the cost associated with replacing of that client ( Reichheld and Sasser, 1990 ) . Harmonizing to Anderson et Al. ( 1994 ) the client satisfaction is positively related to the net income of the service supplier. Additionally, the function of service satisfaction is believed to straight determine a clients ‘ long term relation with the service supplier ( Gronroos, 1984 ) .

The waiting clip can be distracted with the aid of telecasting sets, newspapers, magazines, wall postings etcaˆ¦ as filled clip appears to go through more rapidly than empty clip ( McGrath and Kelly, 1986 ) . This can be applied to cut down the waiting dissatisfaction but non to heighten the client satisfaction as superior waiting experiences will, in bend, enhance clients ‘ overall satisfaction with the service supplier.

Information provided in instance of hold ( Hui and Tse, 1996 ; Antonides et al. , 2002 ) and the features of waiting environment ( Pruyn and Smidts, 1998 ) find the clients ‘ waiting clip satisfaction. Harmonizing to Maister ( 1985 ) any information sing hold can cut down the uncertainness of delay and cut down the overall emphasis degree of the client. As mentioned by Baker and Cameron ( 1996 ) the service environment influences the affectional facet of the waiting times. Besides Pruyn and Smidts ( 1998 ) show that perceived attraction of the environment positively influences the affectional response to the delay and service satisfaction in add-on to the assessment of the delay. But satisfaction with the information provided in instance of holds influence waiting clip satisfaction more than waiting environment satisfaction ( Frederic and Nathalie, 2007 ) . The clients ‘ waiting clip can be influenced by doing the service environment comfy as possible ( Baker and Cameron, 1996 ) .

Future waies for research

Since the current survey focuses on the influence of waiting clip on client satisfaction at assorted phases of the service transmutation procedure, the exact grade of satisfaction is ill-defined from the survey. Davis and Maggard ( 1990 ) argue that in a two phase service procedure, phase one requires precedence where client waits before being served. Future research is required to measure the grade of precedence in the assorted phases of service procedure.

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