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SERVICES MARKETING Module 2 FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER Faculty : Kerena AnandA] TWO MARKS QUESTIONS1. What is Consumer behaviour ?Reflects totality of consumer’s decisions with respect to the acquisition,consumption, and disposition of goods, services, time, and ideas by (human)decision making units (over time).2. Consumer behaviour is important in Marketing of Services.(Jan 2011)As consumers pass through life stages from childhood to retirement, theirneeds and preferences for services change. Because the way they choose toexperience services also change, because the way they choose to experienceservices also change, the type of services that appeal to them also differ.
B] EIGHT MARKS QUESTIONS1. What is the difference between search, experience andcredence properties? (Jan 2009) (can be asked as 2marks or 8 marksquestion)The search, experience and credence are some of the factors that distinguishservices from goods. Services are high on experience and credence attributeswhile Goods are high on search attributes.The above figure arrays products high in search, experience or credencequalities along a continuum of evaluation ranging from easy to evaluate todifficult to evaluate. Most goods fall to the left of the continuum whereasservices fall to the right.Search attributesAttributes that can be evaluated before purchase are called as searchattributes. Goods are usually high on these. For instance you can see thegoods, touch and feel them or evaluate their physical or other properties.
Search qualities include colour, style, price, fit, feel, hardness and smell.Products such as automobiles, clothing, furniture and jewellery are high insearch attributesExperience attributesAttributes that can be discerned only after purchase or during consumption.Experience qualities include taste and wearability. Products such as vacations,restaurant meals are high in experience qualities because their attributescannot be fully known or assessed until they have been purchased and arebeing consumed.Credence attributesThis includes characteristics that the consumer may find impossible to evaluateeven after purchase and consumption. In services usually the experience isneeded before you can evaluate them. Sometimes you cannot be sure ofattributes even after the experience. These attributes are known as credenceattributes. For example, after going through a post graduate programme, thestudent may still not be sure if she has got a good education or not.2. Briefly explain the consumer’s purchase decision makingprocess? (Jan 2008) Problem Information Evaluation of Post- Purchase recognition search alternatives purchase decision behaviorThe consumer’s decision making process is the way in which people gather andassess information and make choices among alternative goods, services,organizations, people, places, and ideas. It consists of the process itself andfactors affecting the process.
PROBLEM RECOGNITION: Problem recognition is the perceived differencebetween an ideal and a actual state. During problem awareness, the consumerrecognizes that the good, service, organization, person, place, or idea maysolve a problem of shortage or unfulfilled desire. Many consumers are hesitantto react to unfulfilled desires because there are risks and the benefits may behard to judge.INFORMATION SEARCH: After problem recognition has been stimulated, theconsumer will usually begin the decision process to solve the problem.Typically the next search is internal search. Each customer has stored inmemory a variety of information, feelings and past experiences that can berecalled. Eg, Consumers who are thinking about buying a pair of shoes willretrieve their experiences with different shoe brands.Next the consumers can also use external search to collect additionalinformation about which brands are available as well as their attributes andbenefits. The major categories are: Retailer: Visits or calls to stores or dealers or pamphlets about brands. Media: Information from advertising, online ads, manufacturer sponsored websites. Interpersonal: Advice from friends, relatives, neighbours, coworkers and other consumers sought in person, phone or online. Independent: books, non brand sponsored websites like shopping.com, government pamphlets or magazines Experiential: The use of product samples, product or service trials or test drives.Information search involves listing alternatives that will solve the problem athand and a determination of the characteristics of each. Search can be internaland/or external .As risk increases; the amount of information sought alsoincreases. Once the information search is completed, it must be determinedwhether the shortage or unfulfilled desire can be satisfied by any alternative.
EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES: The alternatives are evaluated on the basis ofthe consumer’s criteria and the relative importance of these criteria. They arethen ranked and a choice made.PURCHASE - The purchase act involves the exchange of money or a promise topay for a product, or support in return of ownership of a specific good, theperformance of a specific service, and so on. Purchase decisions remaining atthis stage center on the place of purchase,Terms and Availability.If the above elements are acceptable, a consumer will make a purchase.POST-PURCHASE BEHAVIOR: Frequently, the consumer engages in post-purchase behavior. Buying one item may lead to the purchase of another. Re-evaluation of the purchase occurs when the consumer rates the alternativeselected against performance standards. Cognitive dissonance, doubt that acorrect purchase decision has been made, can be reduced by follow-up calls,extended warranties, and post-purchase advertisements.