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The pattern of customer complaint behaviour in public transportation:  
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT. (Business Administration)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT. (Business Administration)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT. (Business Administration)
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
  :   (English)
Abstract [en]

Service providers must understand that they have to provide customer-perceived value, if they want to stay in business. One of the best ways to determine customer-perceived value is to encourage customer complaint. This will make it easier to identify areas of the service process which the consumer believes must be improved. The ultimate goal of our thesis is to identify and establish the patterns of customer complaint behaviour in public transportation which is a part of the service sector. If patterns are identified, it will be much easier to encourage and predict customers‘ abilities and willingness to complain during a service process. Hence, service providers will be able to create an environment that can encourage and facilitate customer complaint processes. In this regard, service providers will obtain more information that will enable them to improve the quality of their services in order provide customer-perceived value. In addition, due to the fact that services are offered at the same time when the customer is there, this increases chances of customers seeing failures. Therefore, it is vital to make it easier for customers to be able to complain as soon as they perceive these failures so that they leave the service environment satisfied. Thus, understanding the pattern of customer complaint behaviour will make this process easier. By pattern, we mean sequence and therefore, there must be factors that influence this sequence. Our thesis shall focus on three main factors; cost, contextual resources and customer‘s competence, that influence the ability, willingness and the extent to which customers will engage in a complain process. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the following: What is the pattern of customer complaint behaviour in public transportation and how do cost, contextual resources and customer‘s competence impact this pattern?However, we shall also mention other external factors that may influence the pattern of customer complaint behaviour like market structure and service characteristics. It is imperative to understand customer complaint behaviour in service because through customer complaint, customers‘ quality expectations can be determined and met. Studies reveal that, although complaint channels may exist, some customers still do not complaint. In our survey, only 21.6% of respondents who encountered a service failure actually complained implying that 78.4% of the respondents who encountered an unfavourable service experience did not complain. What could be the reasons that customers who encounter problems do not complaint, although they would want to complain?2Above all, if there is something to be learnt from customer complaint behaviour, we think that it should be the patterns of customer complaint behaviour. This is because if patterns can be identified, then the right channels can be put in place by service providers in order to encourage and facilitate the complaint process. This will enable much information to be obtained from the customers and then used to make improvements in the service offerings and processes. In this regard service quality and customer satisfaction can be increased. This will lead to customer retention and higher profits for the company as well as prevent negative word-of-mouth.In this thesis, we identified patterns of customer complaint behaviour in service with a focus in public transportation by using data from the passengers of the public bus companies of Karlstad city and the intercity bus company (SWEBUS) as bases of our research. In our questionnaire we asked customers to indicate the strength of preference for a complaint channel they would use in order to make a complaint to the bus company in the event of a negative service experience. The results were ranked in order to determine the pattern of customer complaint behaviour in public transportation. We approached this topic by revealing the importance of understanding customer complaint behaviour and using this knowledge to improve service development. We proceeded by emphasising on the importance of viewing customer complaint behaviour from the perspective of service dominant logic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , p. 80
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 1403-8099
Keywords [en]
customer complaint behaviour, customer complaint, pattern of customer complaint, public transportation, service dominant logic, barriers to complaint, service quality, public transportation
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-6473OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-6473DiVA, id: diva2:356855
Subject / course
Business Administration
Presentation
2009-06-10, 11B269, Universitetsgatan 2 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden, Karlstad Business School, 10:26 (English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Projects
The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research GroupAvailable from: 2010-12-03 Created: 2010-10-14 Last updated: 2011-10-24Bibliographically approved

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