Customer satisfaction is a concept widely used in private business organisations to determine factors that positively or negatively influence customers' wants, needs and demands for organizational products and services. The major purpose being to take rectification measures in case there will be factors that make customers dissatisfied with products and services offered.
As a result of increasing information providers, libraries came to realize that they are not the sole provider of information services needed by their customers. And as technology kept on advancing, the number of customers used to pay physical visits to libraries kept on decreasing. This made library scholars to see the need of conducting customer satisfaction studies so as to determine factors that encourage or discourage their customers from using their services so that improvement measures can be taken to justify to the parent organisations and the general public that libraries are still important to the surrounding communities.
This study is therefore, going to examine factors that make users satisfied or dissatisfied with library services from the research conducted at the Sokoine National Agricultural Library (SNAL). The paper is divided into five sections including this introduction. Section two focuses on the review of literature on the concept of customer satisfaction in detail, Section three dwells on the methodology used in the study, Section four depicts findings of the study in question, and chapter five provides conclusion and recommendations.
2.0 Review of Literature
This section dwells on the theoretical literature review about the concept of customer satisfaction and the theory/model used, including empirical literature review that focuses on the findings of previous researchers about the customer satisfaction as shown below:
2.1 Theoretical literature review
In order to understand customer satisfaction, it is useful to identify who is a customer and what does satisfaction means to such a customer. According to Grigoroudis and Siskos (2009), a customer is a person who assesses the quality of a resource or a service. And according to Oxford Dictionary of English (2010) satisfaction means fulfillment of one's wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.
Therefore, customer satisfaction can be explained as the fulfillment of a person's needs and expectations after evaluating and using a product or service. Since satisfaction is a subjective concept (e.g. customer needs, emotions) and a resource or service being an objective concept, satisfaction or dissatisfaction may vary from one person to the other for a given product or service (Shodhganga, 2013).
According to Kottler (2006) customer satisfaction is a personal reaction of either ecstasy or discontent resulting when balancing a product perceived performance in relation to the expectations. Satisfaction or dissatisfaction of library users can be observed through a library evaluation. The evaluation of library services should be conducted periodically in order to monitor user's satisfaction with library resources.
Customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction may result from either confirmation or disconfirmation of individual expectations regarding a service or product. Satisfaction or dissatisfaction is often associated with interaction of customers with the service providers and the outcomes experienced by service users from such interactions (CSSP, 2007). Satisfaction occurs when discrepancy is not found when comparing perceptions against a standard (e.g. expectations) and vice-versa.
In the context of library, customer satisfaction refers to the situation in which customers are interested to continue using library services, because of perceived benefits they gain. It is a measure of how much the library is performing, in terms of whether or not its learning resources and services are satisfying customers. It is an important concept that need to be studied so as to get customers views, in particular of those who are dissatisfied so that deficiencies they pinpoint can be corrected by improving learning resources and services.
In this study, customer satisfaction with library resources and services is analysed using the expectancy-discomfirmation theory with Four Zones of Tolerance (ZoT) formulated by Oliver (1980) as shown below:
2.2 Expectancy-Discomfirmation Theory
This theory is defined as the consumer's responses to the evaluation of a perceived discrepancy between the pre-conceptualized performance standard and the...