Post-Purchase Evaluation Process
There are five steps to a consumer’s decision making process. The last of them, or step number five, is Post-Purchase Behavior. For many companies, their continued success depends on retaining a customer after the completion of a sale or, “Value Acquisition”. For those companies, post-purchase evaluation is considered to be a crucial step in a consumer’s decision making process.
The post-purchase evaluation is when a customer reviews and compares a product purchased with their prior expectations of that product (Johnston, 2013). A consumer’s evaluation will be either one of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. A result of satisfaction could lead to future purchases by the consumer, whereas dissatisfaction could lead to cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance is the feeling of anxiety or uncertainty about whether the right choice has been made. This normally occurs at the time of commitment for the purchase (Monger, 2013). Dissonance is a doubt that is normal in a vast majority of consumers. Especially in a consumer who rejected an alternate purchase with similar positive attributes. Cognitive Dissonance has also been known as and called buyer’s remorse or buyer’s guilt.
Cognitive dissonance can be prevented with minimal effort from both the marketer and consumer. The marketer can clearly state all of the expectations of the product, during the sales process and, prior to the completion of a sale. A consumer can also assist in his or her satisfaction by being clear on what their needs are and ensuring that their needs match up entirely with the marketer’s stated expectations.
A purchase with a high risk of cognitive dissonance could be something of high monetary value, but without a strong need. A purchase of wanted value versus needed value could