Levels of Expectation

(Source: Adopted form, R.K. Teas, “Expectations, Performance Evaluation and Consumers’ Perceptions of Quality”, Journal of Marketing. October 1993, pp. 18-34.)

The customers have different expectations regarding service. The service expectations by the customers can be divided into the following two types:

1. Desired Service Expectations: It is the service that is desired by the customer or what he/she hopes to receive.

It is an assortment of the customer’s beliefs regarding ‘what it can be’ and ‘what it should be’. The desired service expectations are sub-divided into the following types:

i. Ideal Expectations: It is the highest level of expectation where the customer does not want to adjust his expectation anyhow.

For example, when a person is visiting the Taj Hotel in Delhi, he wants the service to be just perfect as he/she might have heard a lot about it.

ii. Normative Expectations: It is the second-highest level at customer expectation where the quality of the services should be at par or above the expected level.

For example, while visiting a luxurious hotel, a person expects that the services and food provided will be as per the standard maintained by such restaurants.

2. Adequate Service Expectations: These refer to the least level of services which the customer expects that will be delivered to him.

Though, these services are acceptable by the customer, yet, it might not match his desired level of expectations. Adequate service expectations can be sub-divided into the following types: ‘

i. Experience-based Expectations: The expectation of the customer emerges from his previous experience with the services. For example, the customer expects the average quality of service from a particular restaurant due to some previous experiences.

ii. Acceptable Expectations: Customers form out their opinion about the services based on some particular criteria of acceptability. For example, a person may expect a restaurant to be good and expects it to serve him well as the prices are high.

iii. Minimum Tolerable Expectations: It refers to the minimum level of expectation. For example, a person expects that the restaurant will not have good services, but opt for it because of economical prices.

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