Service Marketing Pre-Purchase Stage

Topics: Risk, Decision theory, Decision making Pages: 5 (1194 words) Published: October 13, 2012
To market services effectively, marketing managers need to understand the consumer decision process applies to both goods and services. In this essay, firstly, I am going to analyze the pre-purchase stage of service experiences in Modern Beauty Salon which is a beauty salon that I encountered recently. Secondly, I will evaluate the different types of risk which I perceived before consumption. Thirdly, I would like to illustrate the various strategies that the company offered in order to lower my perceived risks. Finally, I will use a diagram to identify the various components of my expectation in the pre-purchase.

Analysis of pre-purchase stage
Need awareness
“When a person or organization decides to buy or use a service, it is triggered by an underlying need or need arousal.”(Christopher, 2009) In my case, as my work is busy that make me tired, on the other hand I concern very much my appearance especially my face skin quality, I was triggered to have a need of facial treatment provided by beauty salon. These are my unconscious minds.

“Once a need has been recognized, customers are motivated to search for solutions.”(Christopher, 2009) When my need was recognized, I took action to resolve it. I went on the internet looking for information of different beauty salons. After that I had an evoked set in my mind. Christopher wrote that “Several alternatives may come to mind and these form the evoked set, which is the set of possible products or brands that a customer may consider in the decision process.” When I had an evoked set, the different alternatives are needed to be compared and evaluated before a final choice is made.

Evaluation of Alternatives
During the evaluation of alternatives, there are three parts including service attributes, perceived risks and service expectation.

For service attributes, it includes search attributes, experience attributes and credence attributes. Search attributes are tangible characteristics that customers evaluate before purchase. Experience attributes are those that customers must to experience or they cannot be evaluated before purchase. Credence attributes are characteristics that customers find hard to evaluate confidently even after consumption.

For beauty service, the search attributes include the location, decoration and setting of the shop that make me consider whether this shop could provide me a comfortable feeling. Then, the experience attributes is that I need to actual consume the facial treatment in order to evaluate the quality of the service. After that, I have to observe whether my skin quality is improved. It belongs to the credence attribute.

Perceived risk
“Since services have more experience and credence attributes, they are harder to evaluate before purchase. This uncertainty increases customers’ perceived risk.”(Christopher, 2009)” In the following part, I would like to analyze different types of perceived risk during my evaluation of service.

For the functional risk, I perceived whether the facial machines used are effective and good enough to provide me a satisfied treatment.

For the financial risk, I perceived whether I will overpay for the facial treatment that I will actual receive.

For the temporal risk, I would be worried that how long I have to wait when my face was applied toner or mask.

For the physical risk, I concern whether the mask pasted on my face would cause me any sensations since my skin is easily allergic.

For the psychological risk, I worried about whether the cosmetologist will ask me about my personal details as I am not a talkative person. Also, I was afraid whether my personal belongings are safe.

For the social risk, since the firm I choose is not a very top salon among other companies, I wondered whether my friends or colleagues would appreciate my choice.

For the sensory risk, I worried about the machine noise, pain caused by the products application, and the temperature of the...

References: Christopher H. Lovelock, Jochen Wirtz, and Patricia Chew Yee Peng. (2009),
Consumer Behavior in a Services Context
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