Significance of customer perception | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Significance of customer perception

4 July, 2021

In simple terms, customer perception is the opinion of the customers of an organisation on its business, product, or brand. The term summarises how a customer feels about products based on the direct or indirect experience they have had with the company. Therefore, customer perception is one of the major elements in business success. 

The term ‘perception’ is defined as the ability to see, hear or become aware of through the senses. In a marketing context, this refers to the method in which a consumer extends a meaning to the marketing stimuli. The manner that a customer recognises such stimuli has a bearing on the buying decision process and the post-purchase behaviour. 

Customer perception matters to any commercial organisation as a primary aspect. Surveys have proven that one in every three customers leave a brand or a business due to even a single bad experience. This means that any company is not far from a situation where the customer perception and quality of service can take precedence over prices, features, benefits, or ease of usability. Hence, this is the reason for many successful organisations to invest lavishly in customer experience and perception.

A processed approach to customer experience can be an obstacle to a business that deals constantly with customers. Certainly, the organisation must have a direction but excessive protocol and procedures should not get in the way of the real individual interactions. Being proactive to issues and reactive to customer grievances can improve goodwill tremendously. Getting involved with customers before the problem arises is the best approach rather than letting a situation escalates.   

The most effective way to maximise customer value is to connect with the customers emotionally and address their elementary motivations.  Professional salesmen perform this task extremely skillfully. The actions of the staff carry a big weight with customers. The long-term interest and the commitment shown to customers can go a long way and retain customers indefinitely. Listening to the customer in an empathetic manner and discussing their concerns or complaints can provide more opportunities to emotionally attach.

Genuine commitment to customer satisfaction is an important aspect of customer perception. However, the organisation must make sure that the customer is completely aware of such commitment. This can come through good marketing and advertising campaigns. Establishing principal operating values of the company is helpful to harmonious experience. Every customer in the world admires respect, integrity, customer focus, and the service delivery of a company, perhaps even more than the features or prices of a product.   

Organisations set their standards on customer service usually by sending staff through a training process. The smaller organisation trains their staff on, on-the-job through the guidance of the seniors. However, when the core values are in place, the staff is aware of how to act in any given situation when a transaction takes place. When the operating values are enforced, as a rule, the service levels improve and customers will appreciate and continue to have high regard for the organisation. Also, the customers not only will expect such quality over and over again but also they will compare it with the competitors.

Customer perception

Customers have everything at their fingertips today with more than adequately available online information. Therefore, their beliefs can be changed through such information. The customer perception changes when the societal trends, requirements, and needs alter. Therefore the companies need to remain or develop themselves to be at the same level as customers.    

In the contemporary business world, service staff know how to treat customers from a human angle rather than considering them as mere customers who want to buy a product. They know when to be positive, when to ask questions, and also how to manage objections even when they are out of answers in a critical situation. These individual skills are most often mandatory for positive customer perception. 

However, these skillful actions come only with proper training and the knowledge and commitment derived through such training. Training on customer excellence must be continuous and constant to keep the staff on the edge. With the increasing customer knowledge through easily accessible information on the internet, they not only demand a satisfying service but also easily compare the organisation with competitors. By focusing on ongoing, perhaps on-the-job training helps companies to identify the areas that require improvement.    The easiest method to identify what customers think of the company is their own feedback. Having a good sense of customer perception is compulsory for a business. The idea of obtaining feedback is to discontinue what the majority of them dislike and improve on what they prefer or actually like. The most effective way to gather this information is to proactively respond to customer feedback. By collecting feedback, the company gets to know how they feel exactly towards the business.  


There are several methods and techniques to obtain customer feedback. Most successful companies conduct simple customer surveys, often combined with some type of incentive. These surveys currently can be conducted through social media conveniently and effectively. The vast majority of customers appreciate such efforts and willingly assist even if there is no personal incentive to them. Their basic behaviour is that even when they are irritated with the service, they will still be happy to comply as the company is genuinely trying to improve by gathering negative views of customers. 

Follow-up after every interaction is one of the most important aspects in developing customer perception. A catchy letter, e-mail, or a short message to the customer after a transaction is one of the best techniques to earn the trust of the customer. Any customer who receives a nicely worded brief message can create an ambiance that cannot be challenged by competitors.  Such communication is first hand, thus exceedingly effective. Failing in follow-up is a lost opportunity. Even If the customer is unhappy, and yet responding to the follow-up call or message gives the organisation a second chance. Experience reveals that if the company responds positively and optimistically to negative customers, they will continue to remain with the organisation as customers.  


The quality of service is one of the highest priorities of customers.  Customers expect the companies to be trustworthy, transparent and the service to be top-notch. Scores of companies in Sri Lanka provide such quality services. For example, private banks, some supermarket chains, motor vehicle agents, and private hospitals often provide quality service to customers and frequently obtain feedback to improve service quality. 

Customers also count on the personalisation of the experience. They invariably admire exclusive attention when they become customers. The more personalised experience that companies offer, the more customers will be attracted to them. Companies maintain a database of customers and communicate with them personally on special occasions to build up an emotional rapport. By doing this, the company draws maximum usage of customer’s perception of personalisation and lets the customers become more loyal.  

Renowned and respected American poet and civil rights activist said that she has learnt that people will forget what you said or what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel. Customer perception decides how the customers of a business feel about that business. This important sentiment makes them recommend such a brand, product, service, or the company to others.

Hence, keeping a good focus on the positive customer perception helps the sustainability and growth of a business.