The main objective of this study is to develop an approach toward sustained customer satisfaction. The study suggests that firms not only need to create customer satisfaction, they also need to sustain it for their long term profitability. In doing so, it adopts an integrative and holistic approach toward this subject. It is integrative in the sense that it combines some of the sub-components of customer satisfaction such as product satisfaction, services satisfaction, measurement of satisfaction, strategy formulation, and implementation and maintenance to develop an integrative approach toward sustained customer satisfaction. It is holistic in the sense that it approaches customer satisfaction at an 'enterprise' level. This enabled the author to view customer satisfaction from a distance and present the 'big picture'.
Sustained customer satisfaction is conceptualised as 'total enterprise satisfaction'. This includes product satisfaction, services satisfaction, and internal customers' as well as external customers' satisfaction. The basic premise in achieving enterprise satisfaction is that an organisation should aim to maximise total product value for its customers.
The study tests the applicability of the conceptual approach presented here by conducting a case study of ORACLE SYSTEMS (Aust) Pty Ltd. The company has multinational operations and is one of the leading suppliers of computer software. The conceptual approach developed here is critically compared with the customer satisfaction strategy being followed at ORACLE. Two aspects of the conceptual approach were tested:-
• Measurement of customer satisfaction: Oracle Vs Conceptual approach.
• Enterprise satisfaction: Oracle Vs Conceptual approach.
The findings of the study conclude that the conceptual approach is well applicable in a real world situation. The conceptual approach should also help an organisation manage sustained customer satisfaction. It is also pointed out that firms would need to formalise their processes in achieving customer satisfaction. This would make their approach much more objective, tangible and easier to manage. This also makes it relatively more easy to implement quality assurance standards and ensure sustained levels of superior performance.