Customer Decision-Making: A Case Study

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2.1.1 Customer decision-making process
Customer decision making is a very wide area which needs excellent understanding of all aspects involved. It includes questions such as what we buy, where we buy it and how we buy it. Managers would love to know all the answers.
Five stages in the decision-making process are: customer problem or requirement; gathering information from external and internal sources; customer evaluation of different options of similar products or services; final decision to choose specific product or service and, lastly, post-purchase evaluation.
Rosenberg et. al (1980) describe decision making as a "mental process and is greatly under the influence of individuals' attitude towards a particular activity, a social entity,
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According to Wallace (1965), there is a direct link between consumer behaviour and culture. Managers must analyse cultural differences in order to make a proper market segmentation. The importance of cultural diversity is recognised by airlines. For example, Virgin Atlantic hired a consultant agency to examine on which routes cultural differences are greatest and to what extent they impact passengers´ in-flight comfort (Intersperience, 2013). Sub-cultural segmentation means that even people living in the same community have different preferences. This has to be considered in the marketing mix and selection of advertisements (Sun and Wu, 2004). Social class can be defined as a group of people living a similar lifestyle. Therefore they can afford to buy e.g. similar houses or cars (Hoyer and Maclnnis, 1997). In the Czech Republic, the capital city consists of a larger upper social class than other cities, as reflected in the origin of passengers departing from…show more content…
Airline services must be delivered on time and correctly. Multiple studies show reliability and assurance dimensions had the highest score within the SERQUAL model (Zeithaml et al., 1990).

Tangibles — physical on-board items, comfort, cleanliness, magazines, meal quality and in-flight entertainment. Importance of this dimension grows with increased flight time.

Responsiveness — willingness and courtesy of cabin crew and ground staff. It also includes behaviour quality in unexpected situations, e.g. flight delay or lost baggage (Lerrthaitrakul and Panjakajornsak, 2014).
Other dimensions are flight pattern, availability of additional services and employees .
2.1.3 Obtaining information in the customer decision-making process
Customers require adequate information to reach a final decision, without being overwhelmed by information. The complexity of the airline industry and its rapidly changing environment require delivering sufficient information at the right time and in the right place (Bruce, 2011, pp.

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