When it comes down to decision making, it is important to think the decision through and to consider all possible outcomes whether it be right or wrong. There are different forms of decision-making that are more complex than others when making the right choice. According to Berkowitz (2017), when a consumer is deciding on a new product or service, it is important to recognize the problem, do their internal research, research the external factors, have an alternative evaluation, purchase, and evaluate the purchase afterwards.
The 25-year-old healthy worker who sees the same physician for their minor problems seems satisfied with their physician by continuing to see them for their healthcare needs. He or she is choosing to use routine decision-making by sticking with the same physician they are happy and comfortable with.
The retired individual seeking a second opinion for a major open-heart surgery is using the complex decision-making. This type of decision making is used when “a consumer facing major surgery might decide to consult with a couple physicians for their recommendations” (Berkowitz, 2017). With a procedure so critical, it is important to consult with more than one doctor to get all the answers you may need and get others’ opinions for this critical decision-making process for the best possible outcome for your health.
When a consumer sees a new brand of headache medicine on the shelf and decides to try, they are using limited decision-making which is common in over-the-counter medications such as headache or cold and flu pharmaceuticals. There is nothing wrong with trying a different type of headache or any over-the-counter medication. When there is a new product, consumers tend to impulse buy to try out the new brand to see if they like it better especially if it is cheaper.
The consumers decision making process can be represented in six stages (Berkowitz, 2019):
- Problem recognition: the consumer notices they are not getting the care they need
- Internal search: the consumer will attempt to solve the problem on their own
- External search: they will seek help from one or more sources to solve the problem
- Alternative evaluation: the consumer compares the options they have gathered
- Purchase: they purchase the service or product after going over everything
- Post-purchase evaluation: they evaluate the purchase, leading to things like repurchasing the product or completing surveys in favor of the product
With the decision-making process in mind, I would say the following situations would look like this:
(a)25-year-old health worker who sees the same physician for minor medical needs
This consumer is seeing the same physician for all his minor needs. There must not be any issues with the care he is receiving therefore he will stay right there and continue to use his physician.
(b) the retired individual who calls the state medical society and seeks a second opinion prior to open-heart surgery
There are many reasons to get a second opinion when having something major done. You might just want to get more educated on the procedure, confirm the diagnosis is correct, confirm the recommended treatment is the right way to go, or even compare the possible outcomes of the treatments being offered (Why You Should Consider a Second Medical Opinion, 2020).
(c) the consumer who sees a new brand of headache remedy on the shelf and decides to try
This might be an act of someone in the external search or even alternative evaluation steps. Sometimes people need a more rushed evaluation process and chose the trial-and-error approach. They need an immediate answer as to what will work.