Managing Post-purchase Behavior


buying decision process, post-purchase behavior, customer satisfaction, complaints

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Worksheet: Managing Post-purchase Behavior

Student Discussion Activity

The final phase of the customer decision-making process is post-purchase behavior. And if the product’s performance does not match prior expectations consumers will be dissatisfied. This activity highlights how four different consumers usually deal with dissatisfaction.

Review each consumer’s comments. Which of these customer/s would a firm prefer to deal with? What actions could a firm undertake to better deal with dissatisfied customers and turn them back into satisfied customers?

Customer Comments About Complaining and Dissatisfaction


“Over the years, I’ve had a few problems with firms. But I know that things go wrong and the staff usually try to do their best. And what’s the point of complaining, firms really don’t want to know and often I don’t want to get the staff member in trouble either.”


“That’s not my experience. The firms that I deal with usually want to know if there’s a problem and they generally go out of their way to fix it, and often give me some form of compensation.”


“I’m not that forgiving. With me, firms only get one chance. If they muck me around, then I take my business elsewhere straight away. And, of course, I tell all my friends about their poor service as well.”


“In my experience, the only way to get a problem fixed is to play hardball. I write to the CEO of the firm and I threaten bad publicity. If I hear nothing in a week, then I contact the local paper, ring local radio stations and lodge an official complaint with the relevant government agency. It’s amazing how willing they then become to fix my problem.”

Student Discussion Questions

  1. Which customer/s above would firms prefer to deal with?
  2. Which customer/s above would firms prefer NOT to deal with?
  3. Would firms want Tom to lodge a complaint with them? If so, how could they do this?
  4. Would firms want Joyce to lodge a complaint with them? If so, how could they do this?
  5. Could a firm turn Vera into a satisfied customer? If so, how?
  6. In your experience, how willing are firms to respond to complaints?

Related Activities

Evaluation Phase of Decision Process

What Level of Information Search?

External Information

The effect of attitude and perception on consumer complaint intentions