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|Title: ||Developing a deeper understanding of the attributes of effective customer contact employees in personal complaint-handling encounters|
|Authors: ||Gruber, Thorsten|
|Keywords: ||Complaint satisfaction|
|Issue Date: ||2009|
|Publisher: ||© Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Citation: ||GRUBER, T., SZMIGIN, I. and VOSS, R., 2009. Developing a deeper understanding of the attributes of effective customer contact employees in personal complaint-handling encounters. Journal of Services Marketing, 23 (6), pp.422-435.|
|Abstract: ||Purpose – The paper explores the nature of complaint satisfaction. It examines how contact
employees should behave and which qualities they should possess. The study also aims to explore
the comparability of results obtained from two laddering methods as the alternative techniques
may lead to different sets of attributes.
Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory study using the means-end approach and two
laddering techniques (personal interviews and questionnaires) was conducted.
Findings –While the personal interviews produced more depth in understanding, the results of
the two laddering methods are broadly similar. The research indicates that being taken seriously
in the complaint encounter and the employee’s listening skills and competence are particularly
Research limitations/implications – Due to the exploratory nature of the study and the scope
and size of its student sample, the results outlined are tentative in nature.
Practical implications – If companies know what customers expect, contact employees may be
trained to adapt their behavior to their customers’ underlying expectations, which should have a
positive impact on customer satisfaction. For this purpose, the paper gives suggestions to
managers to improve active complaint management.
Originality/value – The study was the first to successfully apply the means-end approach and
two laddering techniques to the issue of complaint satisfaction. The paper has hopefully opened
up an area of research and methodology that could reap considerable further benefits for
researchers interested in the area of customer complaint satisfaction.|
|Version: ||Accepted for publication|
|Publisher Link: ||http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/08876040910985889|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles (Business School)|
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