Thursday, March 4, 2010

Customer-Percieved Value

Kotler defines "customer-perceived value" as the customer's evaluation of the difference between perceived benefits and costs of a marketing offering in comparison to other offers. (Pg. 14) Although this concept value was introduced early on in the course, I found an interesting way that it could be applied to the website, UW Robot.

UW Robot (at is an online service that automatically checks closed UW classes every 5 seconds and informs registered users via text (and now AIM) immediately when an opening appears. Users are able to enter the SLN of any class that they had wanted to get in, and the Robot will just continuously check until the class status changes. This is an ingenious idea because I am sure that more times than not, a lot of students aren’t able to get into their desired classes due to it being closed or having too little spots left open. The UW Robot takes care of this by doing the labor in checking the time schedule.

In the past, the UW Robot has been free of charge and so it gained popularity and rose in usage. According to their FAQ on their website, the Robot serviced about 11,000 students last quarter, a number far larger than their $20/month investment could handle. Because of the increased number of users, the UW Robot now charges a $5 fee for a class and an additional $1 for each related SLN (for example, for a quiz section.) Even though the UW Robot is just an online program on a website, students continue to use it widely despite the new $5 fee. I believe that this is an example of high customer-perceived value, in that the UW Robot customers value the benefit of getting into their desired class more than the cost of $5.

-Michelle Choe, Section G

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