Quiz 4: Customer Buying Behavior


Customer buying process refers to the process through which a customer undergoes before buying a product or a service. It includes steps- need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. It is not correct that the customer buying process ends when a customer buys some merchandise. This is because the seller does not sell a product to the customer only for the sake of selling it, instead the seller desires to retain the customer making him loyal towards the product and inculcate frequent buying habit in him. This can only be achieved when the seller will offer excellent after-sales service to the buyer. For this, the seller has to continuously communicate with the buyer asking for his experience of product consumption. Especially, when it comes to expensive products like television sets, computer software, jewelleries, etc. it is required that the seller inquire about the product's performance from the buyer taking his feedback and offering valuable inputs towards it. The seller has to constantly remind the buyer about its new products and services using multiple channels like emails, telephone, catalogues, etc. This will make the buyer to keep in mind the seller and his brand and the products he sells. It will make the buyer the loyal one and highly retained by the firm. This way the customer buying process does not end when a customer buys some merchandise, instead it offers the seller an opportunity to provide excellent after-purchase services to the buyer.

Service Retailers are firms that primarily sell services rather than merchandise and are a large and growing part of the retail industry. Four important differences in the nature of the offering provided by services and merchandise retailers are: intangibility, simultaneous production and consumption, perishability, and inconsistency of the offering to customers. Service retailers provide their potential customers information through many different outlets. Some customers refer back to past experiences so internal knowledge. Friends and family are personal resources; they give information to the potential customer. Customers can get information through marketing, such as sales people or advertising. There is also the public that may contribute consumer reports or independent sources. Last is experimental such as customer trails. There are several different perspectives that a potential customer can obtain their information.

To answer this question, students need to consider the following steps in the decision making process: Need recognition -What stimulates the student to first think about going to college?  What types of needs was the student attempting to satisfy by going to college? Information search -What information did the student collect about college and the different colleges?  Who provided the information-the colleges through the mail, school counselors, friends, family, visits to the colleges? Evaluation of alternatives -What were the characteristics on which the students compared the various colleges?  Did the student use something like a multi-attribute model to compare the strengths and weaknesses of various alternatives? Choosing a college -What were the key factors influencing the final choice and what was the final choice? Post-choice evaluation -How satisfied is the student with the choice?  Would the student recommend the college to a friend? A habitual decision would be choosing the same college that a sibling or parent went to without much thought.  Extensive problem solving would be searching for a lot of information and making a detailed comparison of alternatives.