management
& marketing
Challenges for the Knowledge Society
ISSN 2069–8887
ISSN-L 1842-0206
The official journal of the
Society for Business Excellence
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Management & Marketing no. 1/2014

Customer dissatisfaction and delight: completely different concepts, or part of a satisfaction continuum?
Abstract. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important concepts in economic research literature, having been the focus of countless studies. However, as economic knowledge enhances, there is a need for defining new concepts related to satisfaction, which place emphasis on different aspects: customer dissatisfaction and customer delight. Observing that researchers still have not yet adopted a clear definition of the concepts, nor reached a consensus regarding the relationship between the three constructs, the current paper aims to provide a clearer image of the three terms, by emphasizing both the differences between them and the common elements, which in turn can be used in the creation of better measurement scales for more adequate research instruments. The method of research is analysis of secondary data, collected from relevant literature on satisfaction through snowball technique. The findings suggest that the main difference between customer satisfaction and customer delight is the degree and intensity of the affective response they provide to the consumption experience, even though one cannot be reached without the other, while customer dissatisfaction, despite common usage in research instruments, might not be the opposite of satisfaction but that of customer delight.
Keyword: customer satisfaction, customer delight, customer dissatisfaction, concept definition, affective response, utilitarian benefits, hedonic benefits.
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