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Antecedents of Consumer Expectations

I INTERNAL FACTORS: a. Individual needs: b. LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT: c. PAST EXPERIENCE: d. SERVICE PHILOSOPHY: II EXTERNAL FACTORS: a. Competitive Options: b. Social Context: c. Word-of-mouth Communications: III SITUATIONAL FACTORS: a. Reason for purchase: b. Consumer Mood: d. Time Constraints: c. Weather: e. Emergencies: IV FIRM PRODUCED FACTORS: a. Service Personnel: b. Tangible Cues: c. Other Customers: d. Firm Image:



 Internal Factors impacting a consumer‟s expectations of a service include the consumer‟s personal needs, level of involvement, past experience, and service philosophy.

a.                 Individual needs:

The personal needs of consumers     are   based   on   Maslow‟s   hierarch Maslow, lower order needs must be fully, or at least partially, satisfied in a sequential order before higher-order needs will affect human behaviour.

Physiological Needs:  Human need for food, shelter and clothing

Safety Needs:  Human need for security, protection from physical  Harm, and avoidance of the unexpected.

Social-belongingness needs: Desire to be accepted by members of family, groups and other individuals. 

Self-esteem Needs: Desire for status, esteem, and to be respected by others.

Self-actualization:  Attainment by an individual of all he or she can be.


b.                LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT:



The second personal factor affecting consumer expectations is th with the service. Involvement has two effects on expectations. First as the level of involvement increases, the gap between the ideal level of service and the desired level of service narrows. Second, as the level of involvement increases, the zone of tolerance decreases. Consumers are less tolerant when service is less than ideal.







The most important factor affecting consumepast experience. Past experience includes experience with a particular service vendor, experience with other vendors within the same industry, and experience with related services.






Consumer‟s  Expectationshisorherpersonalarephilosophyalsoconcerningaffected the delivery by of services. Some consumers, by nature, have high standards concerning the quality of service delivery and very little tolerance for deviation. Other consumers have lower standards and tend to be more tolerant of service deviations.


Individuals develop their personal service philosophy through a combination of two inputs: hereditary and past experience. A major part of how individuals look at services is inherited or what they expect from services is based on their personality and temperament. However, past experience molds and tempers the personality. In early childhood, individuals learn from observing others. Later in life, they learn from their own experiences.







The three external factors that affect consumer expectations are competitive options, social context, and word-of-mouth communications.



a.                 Competitive Options:

impacted by the alternatives available to the consumer. In many cases, expectations of services will not only be affected by other vendors in the same industry but by what is available in other service industries.


b. Social Context:




A consumer‟s socialaveansituationimpactoncanhis or her e desired level of expectations will often increase when they are with others who are important to them, while their zone of tolerance is normally reduced.



c. Word-of-mouth Communications:




The third external factor is word of mouth communications. It is the strongest source of information used by consumers in forming expectations Consumers will often seek the opinion of others before purchasing a service. Word of mouth communication can come from three sources: personal sources, expert sources, and derived sources and is used to solidify or establish the predicted level of service. For services with which consumers have little knowledge or experience, word of mouth communications can be used to establish the desired and ideal levels of service.



Personal sources include friends, relatives and work associates. Expert sources are sometimes sought out, especially for high-involvement purchases. Experts will often provide information that consumers can use in forming expectations about the technical nature of the service, while personal sources usually discuss only the way they were treated by the when consumers lack knowledge of the service and do not know the ideal or desired level of service they should expect. Derived sources are third party sources.





Consumer expectations of a service are affected by such situational factors as the reason for the purchase, the consumer‟s mood, the weather, time Situational factors are temporary changes in the normal state of things. These temporary changes impact what consumers expect from a service.


a.                 Reason for purchase: The reason the service is purchased can alter consumer expectations


b.                Consumer Mood:



Consumer mood states will impact expectations. Individuals in good mood tend to be more tolerant of service personnel. Their zone of tolerance is greater and their expectation level of adequate service is lower. Individuals in a bad mood demonstrate the reverse characteristics. The tolerance zone is reduced and the expectation level of adequate service is higher.


c. Weather:


Weather also plays a role in consumer expectations. In normal weather, passengers expect airlines to arrive on time, but in bad weather, passengers realize there may be a delay. The desired level of service remains the same but the passenger‟sduetotheinclementpredictedweather conditions.


d. Time Constraints:


It also impact customer expectations. Firms who use Manpower for temporary workers modify their expectations when faced with time constraints. If a firm needs help immediately, they will expect manpower to be able to meet the need, but they will normally lower their predicted expectations of the person‟s work ability. Their zone of tolerance time to locate the best individual.


e. Emergencies: Emergencies and catastrophes have an impact on consumer expectations.





Consumer expectations are affected by the 3 primary factors discussed in Promotions, pricing and distribution.

•Promotions    - promises  made  in  advertisements  and  sales  promotions  will  be  used  by consumers in forming their predicted level of service for a particular firm. Advertising can also modify a consumer‟s desired   level   of   service,   adequate


•Pricing - Consumer expectations are affected by the price of the service. The general rule is that   the   higher   the   price,   the   higher   the zone of tolerance. Determination of a high or low price, however, is relative to the competition and to other service alternatives.

•Distribution   -    Distribution  has  an  impact  on  service  expectations.  The  availability  and accessibility of a service to customers has an impact on their expectations. Many banks, such as Bank Boston, are now offering on-line computer banking services that include paying bills, monitoring daily account activities, and transferring funds.

a.       Service Personnel: Conversations with service personnel also have an impact on expectations.


b.       Tangible Cues:


It consists of such things as the appearance of the interior and exterior of the facility, the furniture, and the equipment used in the service, interior décor, cleanliness, point-of-purchase displays, and the appearance of theormostfirm‟sservices,the appearancepersonneloftheservice.personnelF is very important. Patients have certain expectations concerning the appearance of doctors, nurses, and receptionists.


c.                  Other Customers: Expectations of a service can be affected by other customers.


d.                 Firm Image:


The image consumers have of a firm will have an impact on their expectations of the service. If they have a high image of the firm, they will have high expectations. If the image is low, expectations will be low. The image a consumer has can also affect the zone of tolerance. Individuals will be more tolerant of service deviations if they have a high image of the firm than if they have a low image.

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