Improvement complaining: When complainers have the solution to the problem

Abstract : This working paper studies a new conceptual approach of customers' complaints that we called " improvement complaining ". The underlying idea is that customers' dissatisfaction can be turned into a creative learning process. Indeed, dissatisfaction is often considered as one of the strongest antecedents leading to creativity (Boichuk & Menguc, 2013; Carbonell et al. 2009; Duverger, 2012; Füller, 2010; Zhou & George, 2001). Many successful products have been suggested by dissatisfied customers or employees (e.g. McDonald's Filet-O-Fish or Starbucks' Frappuccino). Accordingly, we define improvement complaining as the expression of customer's voice following a service failure in which he or she expresses innovative suggestions to improve the firm's practices and/or services. The main question is: " What influence customers' willingness to share ideas while complaining? " To the best of our knowledge, no study has examined the creative potential of customers' complaints and this one can fill that literature gap, about how a service failure may be the starting point for the innovation process In sum, this work is motivated by three questions related to improvement complaining. Our first research question is about improvement complaining's occurrence. For that, we run a content analysis on 375 complaint letters collected from a French bank's database and find that around 3.5% of customers' complaints can be considered as an improvement complaint. Secondly, we question the customers' motives associated with improvement complaining. Our results show that this complaint is more related with others-oriented motives (company and other customers) compared to other complaining forms. Finally, our third question examines the effect of the organizational climate on complaint intentions. We find that when organizational climate is favorable, customers are more open to complain in an innovative and less in a vindictive way.
Type de document :
Communication dans un congrès
25th Frontiers in Service conference, Jun 2016, Bergen, Norway. 2016
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Contributeur : Mathieu Beal <>
Soumis le : vendredi 1 juillet 2016 - 13:37:32
Dernière modification le : jeudi 7 février 2019 - 16:50:25
Document(s) archivé(s) le : mardi 8 novembre 2016 - 21:29:59


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  • HAL Id : hal-01340094, version 1



Mathieu Béal, Yany Grégoire, William Sabadie. Improvement complaining: When complainers have the solution to the problem. 25th Frontiers in Service conference, Jun 2016, Bergen, Norway. 2016. 〈hal-01340094〉



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