POST PURCHASE BEHAVIOR OF A CUSTOMER
After the purchase, the customer might experience dissonance that stems from noticing certain disquieting features or hearing favorable things about other brands, and will be alert to information that supports his or her decision. Marketing communications should supply beliefs and evaluations that reinforce the consumerâ€™s choice and help him or her feel good about the brand.
The marketerâ€™s job therefore does not end with the purchase. Marketers must monitor post purchase satisfaction, post purchase actions, and post purchase product uses.
Post Purchase Satisfaction
What determines customer satisfaction with a purchaser? Satisfaction is a function of the closeness between expectations and the productâ€™s perceived performance. If performance falls short of expectations, the consumer is disappointed; if it meets expectations, the consumer is satisfied; if it exceeds expectations, the consumer delighted. These feelings make a difference in whether the customer buys the product again and talks favorably or unfavorably about it to others.
Consumers form their expectations on the basis of messages received from sellers, friends, and other information sources. The larger the gap between expectation and performance the greater is the dissatisfaction. Here the consumerâ€™s coping style comes into play. Some consumers magnify the gap when the product is not perfect, and they are highly dissatisfied; others minimize the gap and are less dissatisfied.
Te importance of post purchase satisfaction suggests that product claims must truthfully represent the productâ€™s likely performance. Some sellers might even understate performance levels so that consumers experience higher than expected satisfaction with the product.
Post Purchase Actions
Satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product will influence subsequent behavior. If the consumer is satisfied, he or she will exhibit a higher probability of purchasing the product again. For example, data on automobile brand choice show a high correlation between being highly satisfied with the last brand bought and intention to buy the brand again. One survey showed that 75% of Toyota buyers were highly satisfied and about 75% intended to buy a Toyota again; 35% of Chevrolet buyers were highly satisfied and about 35% intended to buy a Chevrolet again. The satisfied customer will also tend to say god things about the brand to others. Marketers say: â€œOur best advertisement is a satisfied customer.
Dissatisfied consumers may abandon or return the product. They may seek information that confirms its high value. They may take public action by complaining to the company, going to a lawyer, or complaining to other groups (such as business, private, or government agencies). Private actions include making a decision to stop buying the product (exit option) or warning friends (voice option). In all these cases, the seller has done a poor job of satisfying the customer.
Post Purchase communications to buyers have been shown to result in fewer product returns and order cancellation. Computer companies, for example can send a letter to new owners congratulating then on having selected a fine computer. They can place ads showing satisfied brand owners. They can solicit customer suggestions for improvements and list the location of available services. They can write intelligible instruction booklets. They can send owners a magazine containing articles describing new computer application. In addition, they can provide good channels for speedy redress of customer grievances.