Intangibility is the inherent nature of services. Service is a "performance" rather than a "thing". There are more of experience and credence qualities with services than search qualities. Therefore, consumers perceive high degree of uncertainty in making a service purchase decision due to lack of tangible cues with service product. As a result, consumers normally do not consider service product features to evaluate service offer. Present study has its focus on understanding how consumers' perceive and consider service product features for making purchase of credit cards. Objectives are to analyze the role of service product features (core benefit, facilitating services and supplementary services) in pre-purchase evaluation and to understand the position of supplementary services at product levels. The data analysis indicates that consumers consider service product features during pre-purchase evaluation of credit cards and respondents find it easy to make a purchase decision on the basis of supplementary services. Responses reveal that existing supplementary service elements are perceived more of expected features than augmented features of credit cards.
Consumer Perception Towards the Purchase of Credit Cards
INTRODUCTIONServices marketing differ from goods marketing due to well established service characteristics; viz., intangibility, perishability, inseparability of production and consumption, heterogeneity and lack of ownership. Further, this difference is due to resulting extended marketing-mix of 7Ps (Booms and Bitner, 1981). The present study is focused on the fundamental 'P'; i.e., service product which is critical to manage for keeping one's business in market.The service product is essentially a bundle of activities, consisting of a core service plus a cluster of supplementary services. The core elements respond to the customer's need for a basic benefit; for example, airlines offer transportation. Supplementary services are those that add value to the core service.Within the purview of given parameters, the study is carried out in the area of financial services marketing, a branch of services marketing, with special reference to credit card services. Thus, the objective is to study the consumer perception towards service product features in pre-purc...