What Customers Value Is Central to Management Decisions

Published: 17 Nov 2021

Perceived customer value is highly relevant across industries, and is central to managerial decision making, according to new research by Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).

In their paper, Valarie Zeithaml (USA), Katrien Verleye (Belgium), Isabella Hatak (Switzerland), Alexander Zauner (Austria), and Monika Koller from Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) review three decades of research on perceived customer value, its application throughout different areas, based upon different paradigms.

They found that understanding which value perceptions customers have towards particular products, brands or services is vital as those perceptions might impact other post-purchase constructs such as loyalty or word of mouth.

“Having a more comprehensive understanding of the concept of perceived customer value, its measurement and how it can be applied in marketing might have ample implications for a variety of domains in marketing, such as segmentation, positioning, communications, new product and service development, social media activities, etc.,” says Koller.

The research also reveals that perceived value is also multidimensional, for example, look at a smartphone, it is not always only the functionality or the price/performance-ratio of the product that is important for consumers.

Using a smartphone might also involve emotional or social aspects, it might be fun to use, which brand it is might play a role for certain consumers, as well as the aesthetics and the design, or sustainability criteria in terms of a “green” customer value dimension.

The possibilities of applying these ideas provide many opportunities in marketing and inform consumer behavior.

The researchers hope that these findings have an impact on our understanding of consumption and decision-making and that firms will consider integrating systematic value tracking within their marketing activities.

The paper won the best paper award at the Journal of Service Research in 2021 and was a finalist for the SERVSIG best Service Article Award 2021.

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