The last thirty years has seen a blossoming of research about complaints, some conducted by consulting firms and a great deal more by marketing university professors (see Appendix D). Results definitely vary from one research study to another. Nonetheless, common patterns present themselves throughout the multitudinous studies. These patterns, which we discuss in this chapter, include the following:

  • Most customers don’t complain when things go wrong or when they are unhappy.
  • Service providers aren’t very skilled at handling complaints—at least from the customers’ point of view.
  • Because of their emotionality, complaints tend to be remembered longer than other service experiences.
  • A complaint handled ...

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