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Is quality or cost more essential? The international cellphone market

Date:
April 29, 2015
Source:
American Marketing Association
Summary:
As businesses move into international markets, they often do so with a 'one size fits all' customer satisfaction strategy. But factors as basic as how consumers prioritize pricing and quality can differ sharply across cultures and economic systems, according to a new study. Success will depend in part on understanding these perceptions across cultures.
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As businesses move into international markets, they often do so with a "one size fits all" customer satisfaction strategy. But factors as basic as how consumers prioritize pricing and quality can differ sharply across cultures and economic systems, according to a new study in the Journal of International Marketing. Success will depend in part on understanding these perceptions across cultures.

"A company's success abroad will depend in part on understanding how people of different cultures sometimes perceive value very differently," write authors Forrest V. Morgeson III (American Customer Satisfaction Index), Pratyush Nidhi Sharma (University of Delaware) and G. Tomas M. Hult (Michigan State University). "The current study provides new insights into important ways in which customer perceptions vary from nation to nation."

The authors studied cellphone customer attitudes across the very different cultures and markets of Barbados, Singapore, Turkey, the UK, and the US. This industry was chosen because cellphones are used by the richest and poorest consumers, making it ideal for comparing national experiences. Participants were given surveys and interviews about their cellphone service provider, answering such questions as "How high were your expectations when signing up for your service? How would you rate the overall quality of the service? Have you ever complained to your provider?"

The differences between cultures were often striking. In less-developed markets such as Barbados, the product needed to be affordable above all else. In more developed countries such as Singapore, quality was essential, even at a higher cost. Satisfaction with quality fostered customer loyalty in developed nations, while customers in less-developed nations were likely to remain loyal even if the quality was less than stellar.

"The findings provide a wealth of insight across cultures and economies. The implications are vital, in what promises to be an important and colorful field of study into how customer satisfaction varies worldwide, and the need for modern companies to swiftly understand these make-or-break differences," the authors conclude."


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Materials provided by American Marketing Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Forrest V. Morgeson, Pratyush Nidhi Sharma, G. Tomas M. Hult. Cross-National Differences in Consumer Satisfaction: Mobile Services in Emerging and Developed Markets. Journal of International Marketing, 2015; 150305080544008 DOI: 10.1509/jim.14.0127

Cite This Page:

American Marketing Association. "Is quality or cost more essential? The international cellphone market." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150429113211.htm>.
American Marketing Association. (2015, April 29). Is quality or cost more essential? The international cellphone market. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150429113211.htm
American Marketing Association. "Is quality or cost more essential? The international cellphone market." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150429113211.htm (accessed May 8, 2017).