Relationship between Customer Satisfaction and Customer Experience


Smith & Wheeler (2002) place customer experience as beyond satisfaction. In fact, according to Schmitt (2003), customer satisfaction is "the devil in disguise" because it often shifts the focus of management that should be to customers. Furthermore, Schmitt (2003) explains that in the framework of customer satisfaction, expectations and performance are always seen from the functional aspects which in other words are more focused on the product (product-driven) and more oriented to the end result so that many measurements of customer satisfaction are bad predictors for loyalty. This is also found in McEwen & Fleming (2003, in Naumann et al., 2009) who provide information that customer satisfaction is not a predictor that truly represents loyalty.

     Experience, according to Schmitt (2003) is more process oriented. In the shopping experience, experience is more than just getting the product that consumers want, but also at all events and activities that are part of the shopping process, such as the design of the shopping environment / area, staff services, how employees are welcomed, and what consumers feel when shop.

     In the aircraft industry, Smith & Wheeler (2002), customers will decrease when there are competitors who offer similar promotional programs. The level of satisfaction is not enough to keep customers loyal.

    Midwest Express Airlines realizes this and focuses on improving the customer experience, the key to creating true loyalty. Midwest creates customer loyalty with excellence in seating design, food / menu, and service.

   Smith & Wheeler (2002) develop a model like in the Figure below and explain that employees (people), products or services offered, and processes must be addressed in shaping customer experience in accordance with customer expectations, so that it will cause consumer behavior that results in profit or growth for company. Customer satisfaction according to Smith & Wheeler (2002) is part of the customer experience.

  Smith & Wheeler (2002) divides customer expectations into three main dimensions, namely; service quality, with areas in the form of reliability, tangibles, empathy, and responsiveness; product quality, with areas in the form of grade, suitability in use, and conformity to specifications; and costs, with prices as the area.

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