1995275 and lovelock wright 199993 consumers usually

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Unformatted text preview: ll & Peter, 1998:147]. Society’s needs and demands for superior products and good service has put immense focus on post purchase reassurance. By and large, consumers turn out to be more 99 difficult to please as they become more intelligent and sophisticated [Hilsenrath & Flint, 2001:A2; Mulkern, 2001:126; and Mayland, 2000:31]. Consumers partake in a buying situation with certain expectations, which fall into three performance categories namely, ideal, equitable and expected. Ideal performance refers to the optimal performance level, which a consumer expects. A normative judgment reflecting the performance one ought to receive given the costs and efforts devoted to the buying actions and consumption is regarded as equitable performance. The last category is that of expected performance. This is likely to be the actual performance that is executed. Consumers generally make use of this category in deciding whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied because this is the logical outcome of the pre-purchase alternative evaluation process [Engel et al., 1995:275 and Lovelock & Wright, 1999:93]. Consumers usually base their expectations on three principles, namely instrumental performance, symbolic performance and affective performance. Instrumental performance is based on the physical functioning of the product. In other words, does it work properly? Symbolic performance refers to the aesthetic or image-enhancement performance. An example would be sunglasses - they protect the consumer’s eyes from sunlight (instrumental performance) but are also able to let the consumer fit in with a specific social group (symbolic performance). Affective performance deals with the emotional response that owning or using the product provides. For example, do you feel good when buying a particular product? [Hawkins et al., 2001:641 and Arens, 1999:130]]. In light of the previous paragraph, it is imperative to note that only once a product is consumed or used, can the consumer make comparisons and draw up conclusions. Most researchers are of the opinion that these conclusions are a subjective evaluation of the difference between expectancy and actual results [Sweeney, 2001:203; Mittal & Kamakura, 2001:131; and Lovelock & Wright, 1999:76]. The importance of meeting or exceeding consumer expectations is paramount. The positive side of creating satisfied, loyal consumers has already been discussed, however, some research results have revealed that approximately a third of consumers have shown that they are dissatisfied with the product or service that they have paid for [Singh & 100 Wilkes, 1996:355]. Their dissatisfaction responses generally can take the form of the following categories [Hawkins et al., 2001:642 and Kotler, 2000:183]: • voice responses – complaining to the store or manufacturer; • third party responses – taking legal action; • exit options – stop buying a product; and • private responses – negative word-of-mouth com...
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