The post-purchase dissonance is, in addition to satisfaction, the second type of reaction of the buyer after the purchase. It is a direct reaction to the fact of making a decision about the choice of a given product, not the experience of its use. The phenomenon of dissonance is characterized by the fact that we have doubts about the product purchased and we wonder if there really was not a better choice, whether we made the right decision. The feeling of a dissonant dissonance is intensified especially when the choices we make are difficult, require more thought, the products considered are expensive or the decision is irreversible. The post-purchase dissonance is caused by the natural thinking of man, it is a normal phenomenon and is often encountered. After making the purchase, we usually wonder if we have definitely chosen the right product, if the price was not too high - maybe in a different store we would buy cheaper ?, or the quality of the product meets our expectations - or maybe it would be better if we bought an alternative product from another company ?. The post-purchase dissonance has a direct impact on the buyer's feelings. You can find here the following relationship:the customer will be less satisfied with the purchase.
Post-purchase dissonance is the consumer's dissatisfaction with the purchase of a given product. This consumer will have to change the market behavior in relation to this product. e.g. by buying a new, alternative good.
The post-purchase dissonance does not have to be caused solely by doubts about the product or service purchased. The post-purchase dissonance phenomenon may also result from obtaining incomplete or incorrect information about a given product or service.
Example: Purchase of private medical care
The seller informs that all medical assistance is included in the monthly subscription, so we do not incur any additional costs in addition to it. However, during the visit, we learn that for any x-rays or X-rays you need to pay extra, and that the subscription amount only applies to daytime services, additional costs should be incurred at night.
In the above example, the post-purchase dissonance is not caused by doubts about the service purchased but by the customer's dissatisfaction, because he obtained incorrect information before making the purchase, incomplete information about the service in this case was private medical care
What to do to prevent post-purchase dissonance or at least reduce it?
As you know, post-purchase dissonance is a very unpleasant phenomenon, which is why consumers have started using different types of strategies to avoid it. One example of the fight against post-purchase dissonance may be to refrain from making any decision in case we are considering various options and each of them is very attractive - we feel less regret then when we make this choice and we wonder if it was good decision. When making a choice, consumers try to re-evaluate one of the choices to confirm that the chosen option is the best one possible. Consumer products are compared to alternative products they use different techniques: one of them is searching for new information, as a result of which one of the products under consideration acquires positive attributes, and the other - acquires positive ones. As a consequence, we reject this product, which has more negative features.
Manufacturers also fight dissonance. They do it not only so that consumers do not refrain from making a purchase, but also that a strong dissonance does not adversely affect the later experience of product use. Poor opinion spreads much faster than good so companies take care to minimize customer dissatisfaction with the purchased product or service. To do this they use different kinds of methods.
These methods include:
- the opportunity to try the product before making a purchase,
- giving away free samples,
- offering the possibility of refunding in the event of customer dissatisfaction, i.e. the possibility of returning the product without any consequences,
- offering an above-standard warranty
Types of client's reaction to dissatisfaction with the purchased product or service:
- No reaction - it usually occurs when the client knows that he will not achieve anything, he does not have enough knowledge about it or time.
- Filing a complaint,
- Dissemination of negative opinions among friends, on social networks, forums, blog - from the company's point of view is the worst consumer reaction,
- Complaint to the so-called a third party, e.g. to the court or to consumer organizations,
- Opting out of future contacts with a specific product or with all articles of a given company,
- Nadeem, M. M. (2007). Post-purchase dissonance: The wisdom of the'repeat'purchases. Journal of Global Business Issues, 1(2), 183.
- Gilly, M. C., & Gelb, B. D. (1982). Post-purchase consumer processes and the complaining consumer. Journal of Consumer Research, 9(3), 323-328.
- Cohen, J. B., & Goldberg, M. E. (1970). The dissonance model in post-decision product evaluation. Journal of Marketing Research, 315-321.