The Consumer Complaint Behavior

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The consumer complaint behavior, CCB in short, is an area of research which deals with the identification and analysis of all the aspects involved in the consumer reaction to a product or a service failure and the consequent perceived dissatisfaction. A growing interest for CCB starts appearing toward the middle of the '60s as a particular aspect of a general attention for consumer behaviors and attitudes. Consumer satisfaction, dissatisfaction and consumer complaint behavior, in particular, are three distinct, but highly correlated subjects investigated by marketing and consumer studies. Real marketing problems can be considered at the origin of these studies. The growing competition in the market, the developing consumerism, the importance given to quality, performance and satisfaction, the emphasis given to customers, considered at the Centre of a product or of a service, bring researchers to inquiry about the complex mechanisms which determine customer satisfactions or dissatisfaction and what are the consequent consumer behaviors. At the same time, as the research is deeply rooted in real life, the findings of the studies are aimed at identifying and suggesting managerial and practical solutions directly applicable to markets or services. As far as CCB research is concerned, the main aspects investigated can be summarized according to the some questions. The proposed list is anything but exhaustive: 1. Why do people complain?

2. Why do people not complain?
3. To whom do people complain?
4. Facing an unsatisfactory product or service, what are the possible reactions available for a customer? 5. Are there any differences in CCB according to the product or the service investigated? Being a Customer Relationship Manager of a luxurious hotel in Penang I received a mail from Mr. Stanley. He and his family stayed at my hotel last week. He has complained that the quality of food served was not satisfactory, hotel staff very impolite and not helpful and his computer notebook and some cash was missing from his hotel room. Also he has criticized the hotel staff members that they do not listen to his complaint patiently. Firstly, I will send Mr. Stanley a letter of apologize and tell him about we will take further step even when full resolution is likely to take longer because fast acknowledgment remains very important and this action helps to build rapport with customer, the first step in rebuilding a bruised relationship. In this letter I would not argue with Mr. Stanley and the goal should be to gather facts to reach a mutually acceptable solution, not to win a debate. Arguing gets in the way of listening and seldom diffuses anger. Next, I will show that I understand the problem from his point of view. Seeing situations through his eyes is the only way to understand what he thinks has gone wrong and why he is upset. Service personnel should avoid jumping to conclusions with his interpretations. Besides that, I have to clarify the truth and sort out the cause. Mr. Stanley says my hotel staffs are impolite, the food served is not satisfied and hotel members didn’t listen to his complaint, it may result from inefficiency of service, misunderstanding by Mr. Stanley, or the misbehavior of a hotel staff or third party. If I’ve done something wrong, I will apologize immediately. The more Mr. Stanley can forgive me, the less he will expect to be compensated. I would not be defensive because acting defensively may suggest that my hotel has something to hide or is reluctant to explore the situation fully. Furthermore, I will provide Mr. Stanley the benefit of the doubt because not all customers are truthful and not all complaints are justified. However, he should be treated as though they have a valid complaint until clear evidence to the contrary emerges. Because Mr. Stanley miss some cash money and computer notebook from his hotel room so careful investigation is warranted. Because the amount involved is not...
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