What Type Of Complainer Are You?

Google ‘service marketing’ and you will find countless pages of search results regarding theories and research that discuss service marketing practices. These are all great, but when it comes to service marketing, the simple rule is that common sense prevails. If an organisation provides good service you will come back. If they don’t, you won’t!

Typically, customers fall into four complainer categories:

Compaint Dept Closed
Complaints can incite action, but rude customers are sometimes ignored.
  1. Passive: These are people who take no action, as they don’t see the point in complaining
  2. Voicer: These are consumers who complain on the spot – straight to the service provider and do not spread negative word of mouth or complain to a third party such as an ombudsman, or online forums such as Vent2Me
  3. Irates: These consumers spread negative word of mouth and may sometimes complain to the provider, but often do not give the provider a second chance
  4. Activists: These consumers complain on all three dimensions, including straight to providers, negative word of mouth and third parties

So what type of complainer are you?

As an extroverted Gen Y service marketing professional, I tend to fall into the activist category. I always let the organisation know that I am dissatisfied and if I feel their complaint handling isn’t satisfactory, I will vent to friends, ombudsman services and other third parties. In most instances, I have blacklisted many retail outlets and service providers, as a result of my dissatisfaction.

Companies don’t like bad press, or unhappy customers. In most cases, you will find that a firm and polite complaint  results in action from the company, and sometimes even some special treatment too! Be cautious of sounding rude though — it’s easy for sales floor or call centre staff to ignore you if they don’t feel like being helpful.

The moral of the story? Don’t be passive if you want to have your complaint resolved. Become an activist and you will be surprised how often your complaint will be positively resolved.

Julia Makin

leave a comment

Create Account

Log In Your Account