The consumer experience of aesthetic medicine services

Antonella Angelini, Giulia Gosnell Carmignani


Purpose. The aim of this research is to investigate the consumer experience of aesthetic medicine services, from the need recognition to the post-purchase evaluation (Zeithaml et al., 2012), considering the high presence of credence qualities that characterizes medical services (Wilson, Zeithaml, Bitner, Gremler, 2016) and the effects of Internet on the stages of the purchase process. The subject is topical because in the last few years aesthetic medicine is grown significantly, so much to establish itself as a new tendency in modern medicine (Ancarani e Gisco, 2013). Its development has been determined by drivers such as the crisis of values, the extension of the concept of health, the progress of medical knowledge, demographic phenomena and digital revolution (Vaccaro, 2010), which have changed the perception of the needs and the habits in the purchasing of services by customers.

Methodology. Using quantitative survey data collected from a sample of clients of an aesthetic clinic located in Florence (the sample has been identified using the simple random technique), this research explores each phase of the buying process by identifying how the new scenario is changing buying habits and techniques of evaluation in customers of aesthetic medicine.

Findings. Internet is confirmed to be an informative source of great importance in the context of aesthetic medicine, in line with recent studies (Montemurro, Porcnik, 2015). Moreover the professional attitude of the medical team and the high level of the medical instruments emerge as highly attractive elements during the decisional phase of the customers and, together with the communication/interaction between staff and patient, these are winning factors for reducing the perceived risk regarding aesthetic treatments. This, along with reducing the waiting time and by guaranteeing the same medical reference figure, increases the sense of organization, trust and linearity of the service.

Research limitations. The study is confined to a single business reality of the sector. This represents the main limit of research. In the future it would be desirable to replicate the analysis in order to identify and analyze the trends of development in addition to widen the scope of the survey to other realities of the sector. To conduct focus groups would also enrich and deepen the phenomenon under investigation.

Originality/value. Taking into consideration the literature and data emerging from empirical research it has been possible to develop a set of best practices that are strategic to the growth of a firm operating in the specific sector examined and to generate customer satisfaction.


service experience; consumer behavior; consumer satisfaction; experience quality; aesthetic medicine

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