It is imperative that service organisations implement effective
service recovery strategies when customers experience a service
failure, since unresolved service failures can result in customers
spreading negative word-of-mouth communication or defecting
to competitors. It is therefore in organisations’ best interests to
encourage customers to complain when a service failure occurs.
However, if customers do not have positive attitudes towards
complaining or are not likely to complain, service organisations will
not be afforded the opportunity to offer service recovery. This study
aims to determine customers’ attitudes towards complaining as
well as their likelihood of voicing a complaint when service failures
occur with service providers in the banking, domestic airline and
restaurant industries. Non-probability convenience sampling was
used to collect data from 915 respondents residing in Gauteng.
The results indicate that respondents have fairly positive attitudes
towards complaining. Therefore, by creating appropriate channels
to complain, customers will in all likelihood use these channels to do so. Significant differences were found between different customer
groups pertaining to their overall attitude towards complaining
as well as the likelihood of voicing a complaint. Across all three
industries, customers are more likely to voice a complaint when they
experience a service failure with their current service provider than
with a service provider they have never used.
This article was co-written by P.G. Mostert before he joined the University of Pretoria.