Research: “Efficacy and Outcome Expectations Related to Customer Complaints About Service Experiences” (2000)

"Given the crucial role that customer satisfaction plays in a restaurant's success in the marketplace, it is important to pay attention to and understand customer complaint processes."

Given the connection between confidence in complaint formation and expected outcomes or remedies reported here, to better deal customer complaints service providers should first focus on affirming customers' complaints when lodged and then reinforce the connection (psychologically speaking) to the outcome expectation.  

This is particularly important because when customers complain, they most likely have a remedy in mind (i.e., outcome expectation). Therefore, it is important to understand customers' outcome expectations so when a complaint remedy is offered to them it aligns with their expectations. If a complaint is handled satisfactorily, it is likely to strengthen and positively influence the customers' perception of the service process and will encourage customers to complain when they are not satisfied with the service they receive.

However, if a customer ultimately has a low expectation for a specific complaint remedy and that expectation is met, the customer will likely not hold high expectations for remedies in the future. When a customer chooses not to complain about a dissatisfying service experience, the operator not only loses an opportunity to provide a remedy, but also loses valuable information about a failure in the service process"

source: "Efficacy and Outcome Expectations Related to Customer Complaints About Service Experiences" by Alex M. Susskind (Cornell University, 2000)

WaiterBell Angle: This research gives more insight into why more restaurant customers may not formally complain to waitstaff and managers about service. The consequence is that customers complain about a restaurant informally through word of mouth, the internet, and other channels. Also damaging is that the restaurant is never made aware of the problem, allowing it to cause problems for future customers.

WaiterBell is a proactive measure that restaurants can employ to prevent issues regarding service. When your customers use WaiterBell, it provides the waitstaff an opportunity to quickly resolve a service gap before it can put a damper on the meal and even worse, negative word of mouth.


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