Waiting Times and Defining Customer Satisfaction

T.M.B. Palawatta


Review of literature shows that there is no agreement about the definition of probably
the most important, variable Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction. Satisfaction /Dissatisfaction
equals Expectation minus Perception is the most widely used definition today. In
this definition, there are a number of issues that have to be resolved. First, what
exactly Satisfaction is? Is it disconfirmation? That is the gap between expectation
and perception. Is it expectation? Or, is it perception? Further, there is no concrete
definition about the expectation. Is it predicted service? Is it adequate service? In this
study, the definition of satisfaction/dissatisfaction was tested using continuous variables
expected waiting time, perceived waiting time, prior predicted waiting time, posterior
predicted waiting time and the acceptable waiting time. Study found that disconfirmation
between expected waiting time and the perceived waiting time is the best definition for
satisfaction/dissatisfaction followed by expected waiting time and perceived waiting
time. However, the influence of perceived waiting time is nearly negligible. Therefore,
defining satisfaction/dissatisfaction as disconfirmation between expectation and
perception is most appropriate. Furthermore, the study found that expectation is not
prediction and is also not the acceptable (adequate) service.

Expectation, Perception, Satisfaction, Waiting Time

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Vidyodaya Journal of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka