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The five stages of the consumer decision-making process

Discuss about the Consumer Decision Making Process for Arabella Case Study.

Mehta and Dixit (2006, p. 205), described the consumer-decision making process in five main stages. Similarly, these stages apply to Arabella’s case. These are:

Identifying the problem: Arabella faced the challenge of having a personal computer which would help her access the internet and work from home conveniently instead of traveling to the University campus on weekends and at night.

Obtaining relevant information: Arabella was able to get information about computers from her friends, Emma, Sarah, and Cordelia. More information was obtained from Norman Computer Superstore and the advertisements from the brochures.

Evaluating alternatives: Based on the information achieved, Arabella had to evaluate the best desktop computer. She evaluated Dense, Hal, IQ Marquee and Glade brands. Evaluation involves drawing conclusions from a study or research. (Hansel and Hofmann, 2016, p. 9). Finally, she had to make a choice between IQ and Hal.

Purchasing: After considering the previous stages, Arabella was motivated and decided to buy the IQ Marquee computer for it had the very specifications she was after. It had good graphics, higher RAM and faster processor which could multi-task.

Post-purchase Behavior: It is testing the effectiveness of the product by the buyer. In this case, buying an IQ PC caused disappointment to Arabella for it was not able to connect to the Oz Email Server due to modem malfunction.

2.  Level of involvement

It refers to the degree of processing information and considering the importance the consumer will get after buying a particular product. (Thukral and Mindak, 2015, p. 72). As a consumer, I would not have behaved like Arabella. Based on the information from her friends, they explained their experiences for the computers, but none of them had used IQ Marquee PC. Cordelia had confirmed and praised that Hal worked well for her. I could have purchased Hal instead of IQ PC.

I would consider the guarantee and warrant of the IQ PC. I could take it back immediately to the seller for a refund, repair or replace it with Hal. The customer always has the right to reject faulty goods (May, Monga, and Kalaignanam, 2015, p. 260). However, if the product does not have any warrant, I could consider the Consumer Rights Act and claim for the refund or repair of the faulty IQ PC. If the cost of the defective product is lower, I will consider its repair cost. If the total cost is higher than the original buying price, I will reject the product. Alternatively, if the total is lower or equal to buying price, I would purchase the product and take it to be fixed.

4.Manager of IQ customer care

I would order the staff to scrutinize the product first and check whether the problem is related to the manufacturer or the buyer, Arabella, physically interfered with it. If it were the manufacturer’s fault, I would ask the staff to request Arabella whether she would like the IQ Marquee repaired or replaced. I would not encourage refund, but other alternatives would be better.

5.Effective complaint handling procedure

According to Chalmers (2016, p. 572), this procedure is divided into three processes. These process include:

Frontline resolution: This deals with complaints which are easy and straightforward. They can be resolved by quickly and do not require much detail.

Investigation complaints: It is applied to the grievances which are beyond frontline resolution. In most cases, they are said to be complex and are handled by the senior management.

Independent external review: The cases which arise from the service providers are tackled in this stage. These are complaints which are beyond management control. They originate from manufacturers and service providers fault.

Reduced prices and discounts: Prices can be minimized and discounts provided to entice customers. This act can be done on holidays and weekends. Consumers will be more satisfied if they purchase goods at lower prices.

Quality: Better level of excellence of a product will provide more satisfaction. For example, high-speed computers will make work easier and convenient to the buyer.

After-sale services: May includes packing goods in cartons or ferrying goods to buyer’s car.

References

Mehta, R., and Dixit, G., 2016. Consumer decision-making styles in developed and developing markets: A cross-country comparison. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 33, pp.202 208.

Hänsel, M. and Hofmann, E., 2016. Evaluation of business services from a buyer’s perspective: The place of consumption as a distinctive feature.

Thukral, V.K. and Mindak, W.A., 2015. Product Involvement as a Determinant of Consumer Satisfaction. In Proceedings of the 1984 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 72-76). Springer International Publishing.

May, F., Monga, A.B. and Kalaignanam, K., 2015. Consumer Responses to Brand Failures: The Neglected Role of Honor Values. Brand Meaning Management, 12, p.257 - 291.

Chalmers, S., 2016. Ethical fairness in financial services complaint is handling. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 34(4), pp.570-586.

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