Consumer Decision Process In Services Marketing

Knowledge of the Buyer

In buying decisions many times other people also influence the decision. In services these roles are played by many persons. In purchase of any service six distinct roles are played. They are;

  1. Initiator : The person who has a specific need and proposes to buy a service
  2. Influencer : The person or group of persons whom the decision maker refers to or who advice the decision maker
  3. Gate Keeper : The person or organization or promotional material, which act as filter on the range of services which enter the decision choice
  4. Decider : The person who makes the buying decision
  5. Buyer : The person makes the actual purchaser
  6. User : The actual user.

Consumer Decision Making Process in Services Marketing

The consumer’s decision to purchase or reject a product or service is the moment of final truth for the marketer. It signifies the marketing strategy has been wise, insightful and effective, whether it was poorly planned and missed the mark. Marketer are, therefore, interested in the consumer decision making process by which a consumer selects an alternative amongst the lot available. The decision not to buy is also an alternative.

A simple consumer decision making model, ties together the psychological, social and cultural concepts into an easily understood framework. The decision model has three distinct sets of variables: Input Variables, Process Variables, and Output Variables.

  1. Input Variables:Input variables are those variables which affect the decision making process and include commercial marketing efforts as well as non-commercial influences from the consumer’s socio-cultural environment.
  2. Decision Variables:The decision process variables are influenced by consumer’s own psychological fields, which affect their recognition of a need, their pre-purchase search for information and their evaluation of alternatives.
  3. Output Variables:The output phase of the model includes the actual purchase (either trial or repeat purchase) and post purchase evaluation. Both pre-purchase and post-purchase evaluation feed back in the form of experience into the consumer’s psychological field and serves to influence future decision processing. (On a holiday a customer may change hotels in between his stay).

Factors influencing the consumer buying behavior are

  1. Situational Factors : Time, Store’s atmosphere, Marketing Stimuli (the occasion)
  2. Personal Factors : Personality, life style, other demographic factors like age, gender, occupation etc.
  3. Social Factors : Culture, reference group, family.
  4. Psychological Factors : Perception, attitude, motivation.

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