Service expectations. These are shaped by the information search and evaluation of service attributes. The components of expectations include desired, adequate, and predicted service levels. Between the desired and adequate service levels is the zone of tolerance, within which customers are willing to accept variation in service levels.

Purchase decision. The outcome of the prepurchase stage is a purchase decision, based largely on attribute performance expectations and risk perceptions of alternative solutions. Many decisions involve complex tradeoffs along several attributes, typically including price. In the service encounter stage, the customer initiates, experiences, and consumes the service. A number of concepts and models help us to better understand customer behavior in this stage:

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