Advertisement

Complaint Reaction

  • Bernd Stauss
  • Wolfgang Seidel
Chapter
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)

Abstract

Complaint reaction encompasses all complaint management activities that the customer perceives during the complaint handling process. These activities include the direct contact with the complainants, the decision about the problem solution and the communication with the customer during the processing of the complaint.

Regarding dealing with complainants, basic rules of conduct must be followed both for the direct conversation and for responding to written complaints. In direct conversations with complainants, five typical phases must be observed: the greeting phase, the aggression-reduction phase, the conflict-settlement phase, the problem-solution phase and the conclusive phase. When responding in writing to complaints, the following content-related aspects must be taken into account: initial wording, problem repetition, conflict settlement, problem solution and concluding wording. In addition, special groups of complainants and complaints deserve particular attention. These include repeat, multiple and follow-up complainants, grumblers and grousers as well as scattered complaints, complaints to top management, complaints about employees, and threats.

Three basic groups of measures are available for the decision about the problem solution: financial, tangible and intangible. They have different consequences for the complainants’ satisfaction. Under certain conditions, the complainants’ demand can be fulfilled without an individual case examination.

Most complaints are considered to be justified from the customers’ perspective; even if the complaints are objectively unjustified, it can make economic sense to react fairly. A differentiation of the complaint reaction according to customer value should only be considered with regard to the type of compensation, but not to the behavior in the customer contact situation.

The communication during the complaint handling process is very important to the success of restoring customer satisfaction. Therefore, all forms of communication (confirmation of receipt, intermediate replies, final replies and follow-up contacts) must be carefully planned and the quality of the complaint correspondence and conversations must be reviewed systematically and regularly.

References

  1. Blanding W (1991) Customer service operations: the complete guide. AMACOM, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Brückner M (2007) Beschwerdemanagement, 2nd edn. Redline Wirtschaft, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  3. Brymer RA (1991) Employee empowerment: a guest-driven leadership strategy. Cornell Rest Admin Qual 32(1):58–68Google Scholar
  4. Butler F (2009) Customer relationship management: concepts and technologies, 2nd edn. Routledge, AbingtonGoogle Scholar
  5. Chase RB, Dasu S (2001) Want to perfect your company’s service? Use behavioral science. Harv Bus Rev 79(6):78–84Google Scholar
  6. Cottle DW (1990) Client-centered service: how to keep them coming back for more. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Dealing with Angry Customers (2016) https://callcentrehelper.com/dealing-with-angry-customers-152.htm. Accessed 8 Nov 2017
  8. Estelami H (2000) Competitive and procedural determinants of delight and disappointment in consumer complaint outcomes. J Serv Res 2(3):285–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fader P (2012) Customer centricity: focus on the right customers for strategic advantage, 2nd edn. Wharton Digital Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodwin C, Ross I (1990) Consumer evaluations of responses to complaints: what’s fair and why. J Cons Mark 7(2):39–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Günter B, Helm S (2011) Kundenbewertung im Rahmen des CRM. In: Hippner H et al (eds) Grundlagen des CRM, 3rd edn. Springer, Wiesbaden, pp 271–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gupta S et al (2004) Valuing customers. J Mark Res 41(1):7–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Haeske U (2001) Beschwerden und Reklamationen managen: Kritische Kunden Sind gute Kunden! Beltz Verlag, Weinheim and BaselGoogle Scholar
  14. Haeske U (2010) Kommunikation mit Kunden, 3rd edn. Cornelsen Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  15. Harris LC, Reynolds KL (2004) Jaycustomer behavior: an exploration of types and motives in the hospitality industry. J Serv Mark 18(5):339–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Helm S et al (2006) Suppliers’ willingness to end unprofitable customer relationships: an exploratory investigation in the German mechanical engineering sector. Eur J Mark 40(3–4):366–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Helm S et al (2017) Kundenwert—Eine Einführung in die theoretischen und praktischen Herausforderungen der Bewertung von Kundenbeziehungen. In: Helm S et al (eds) Kundenwert: Grundlagen—innovative Konzepte—Praktische Umsetzungen, 4th edn. Wiesbaden, Springer Gabler, pp 3–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Krafft M, Bues M (2017) Aktuelle Konzepte zur Messung des ökonomischen Kundenwerts. In: Helm S et al (eds) Kundenwert: Grundlagen—innovative Konzepte—Praktische Umsetzungen, 4th edn. Wiesbaden, Springer Gabler, pp 237–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kumar V (2008) A customer lifetime value. Now Publishers, HanoverGoogle Scholar
  20. Kumar V, Pansari A (2015) Aggregate and individual-level customer lifetime value. In: Kumar V, Shah D (eds) Handbook on research on customer equity in marketing. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 44–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Malthouse CE (2013) Segmentation and lifetime value models using SAS. SAS Institute, CaryGoogle Scholar
  22. Maxham JG, Netemeyer RG (2002) A longitudinal study of complaining customers’ evaluations of multiple service failures and recovery efforts. J Mark 66(4):57–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McColl-Kennedy JR, Sparks BA (2003) Application of fairness theory to service failures and service recovery. J Serv Res 5(3):251–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Piron F, Young M (2000) Retail borrowing: Insights and implications on returning used merchandise. Int J Retail Distrib Manag 28(1):27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Plein K (2016) Dysfunktionales Beschwerdeverhalten: Ausprägungen, Entstehung, Auswirkungen und management-Implikationen. Springer Gabler, WiesbadenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Respond to a Complaint (2017) http://www.writeexpress.com/compla05.html. Accessed 20 Nov 2017
  27. Reynolds KL, Harris LC (2005) When service failure is not service failure: an exploration of the forms and motives of “illegitimate” customer complaining. J Serv Mark 19(5):321–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rust RT et al (2000) Driving customer equity: how customer lifetime value is reshaping corporate strategy. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Servmark (2009) Interne Studie zu Beschwerdeführer follow up-Kontakten. Servmark, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  30. Sewell C, Brown PB (2002) Customer for life. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Stauss B, Seidel W (2009) Customer care—Wertschöpfung durch inbound marketing, Thexis. Fachzeitschrift für Marketing 26(6):18–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Stauss
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Seidel
    • 2
  1. 1.Catholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtIngolstadtGermany
  2. 2.servmark consultancyIngolstadt and MunichGermany

Personalised recommendations