Managing Customer Complaint In The Service Industry

The over all purpose of the this article is to look at how customer complaints can be managed in the industry. Customer complaint is one of those integral parts in the banking .These complaints that is both formal and regulatory have been the main aim of this study. Complaint comes from various sectors both within and outside the organization. This has led to most problems being encountered in the industry. The issue of inappropriate prompt responds to customer complaints and the lack of special amenities set in place to address customer complaints are the article main focus.

We will look at techniques in handling customer complaints, importance or usefulness of complaints, the nature of customer complaints and the benefits to the importance.


Complaints results from being dissatisfied with services provided by organizations. Dissatisfaction itself occurs when customers expectations are not met by the service provider since expectations differ from person to person. It may not be possible for organizations to satisfy all Customers’. Every organization that offers to the public is thus likely to receive complaints at some time.”Not all dissatisfied customers however complain. Studies of customer satisfaction have revealed that customers are dissatisfied with their purchase above 25% of the time but that only about 5% complain”. (Eccles and Durand 1998).

Hinson(2006) further distinguishes between two types of dissatisfied customers: passives; who do not take action because they believe complaining is not worth the effort or who instead of telling a provider tells others and talk to third parties through negative word of mouth. The second type is “garruls” (garrulous/talkative people) who insist on their right for compensation and fair treatment for goods and services.

Most customers feel that complaining to staff of service organizations in Africa as and when a problem occurs will only cause additional annoyance and waste of time. If customers have a problem with service rather than the product, they are even less likely to say something. Customer will tell their friends and family about their problems rather than the service provider. In general, dissatisfied people will tell between 8 and 10 people abut the bad service they received. Customers whose complaints are satisfactory resolved often become more loyal than customers who were never satisfied. “If organizations are to win and retain customer loyalty they must effectively capture and manage customer complaint”. This a review- by Eccles and Durand 1998 and -the researcher strongly believes.


According to Dr. Emmanuel Dei Tumi, leader for “future leaders’ foundations”, the general causes of service complaints include; failure to perform service when promised; inefficiency, rudeness, delays and failure to keep customers informed of changes and any flexibility on the part of the service provider. Some common causes of complaints also include discourteousness, inept and incompetent service.


One cannot talk about the techniques without first looking at the causes.  Ron Kurtus commented on some techniques for handling customer complaints. He stated that;

  • Establish a common approach to handling complaints:

When the customer pays for a service, it is assumed that the product will work correctly or that the service received is as promised. Ideally the customer will no longer have a complain. Ron Kurtus (revised 6 June 2007) explained that “if there is a problem and the customer complains about it, the company should quickly answer the complaint and solve the customer’s problem”. This problem solving is normally done through the company’s customer service activity. According to Joe Gerald (2007)”once complaints are recorded the nature of the complaint among with the product or service the complaint is about requires classifications”. In the banking sector, complaint that violates federal laws, or internal bank policies and procedures, should be classified, separately from other customer service issues. Once complaints are classified, the data should be analyzed and reported on a regular basis.

  • Analyses and Report Trends:

Once complaints are classified the data should be analyzed and reported on a regular basis. The goal of analysis is to identify themes or trends that occur with front -line service delivery. The  is done with an eye toward both regulatory matters, and those that improve customer experiences .Given that many bank ombudsmen report to their Chief Executive and Board of Directors on a semi-annual basis ,this  ensures complaints management activities receive senior executive attention and accountability.

  • Build in customer satisfaction checks.

Dei Tumi, explained that “after an appropriate interval, say two weeks get in touch with the customer to confirm that the company still has a customer” The review mechanism should help in identifying short comings in product features and delivery.


The importance or usefulness of complaint to companies or organizations cannot be overemphasized. The benefits derived from complaints are enormous.

Zairi (2002) postulates that complaints are usefully for the following reasons:

  • They are a way of receiving feedback from customer and therefore a necessary means for putting into action improvement plans.
  • Complaints are a necessary tool for preventing complacency and harnessing internal competencies for optimizing products and service.
  • They a useful way of measuring performance and allocating resource to deal with the deficient areas of the service business.
  • They are a useful “mirror” for gauging internal performance against competition.
  • Complaints are also useful exercise tor getting nearer and understanding them better.
  • Complaining customers are among the most loyal customers.

These views are supported by Eccles and Durand (1998) who have also noted that;

  • Research findings have indicated that customers who complain are also more likely to repurchase, even when their complaint is not handled satisfactory.
  • Again customers whose problems are recovered are more likely to say positive thing about the company.

This is explained by reciprocity principle which stipulates that people like to return favors when something nice has been done for them.

  • Complaints are vital to a customer focused service organization. Complaints provide an opportunity to discover weaknesses in service provisions; identify areas for improvement and demonstrate high levels of customer care and resolving issues. Furthermore effective customer complaints procedures can help organizations to improve both product and service quality by offering unhappy customers a method of feeding back information to the providers of those goods and services. Also complaints are instrumental in developing a quality culture within organizations by focusing on customer requirement.


There are numerous benefits for a company to properly deal with customer complaints.

Satisfied customer: first of all it will help to satisfy the customer so the organization will get respect business or referrals. In fact in some cases, effectively dealing with a complaint can lead to a more loyal customer than others who may not complain or have problems. This review was given by Michael Le Boeuf (1987)

Can rectify problems: Another benefit of dealing with complaints is that one can see weaknesses in one’s process or product that can be rectified. This will prevent possible future complaints or problems down the line. It is an effective form of customer feedback, although one hopes to eliminate. Michael Le Boeuf (1987)


Institutions, organizations and service providers should not take customer complaints as a dent on their performance but rather as a sit up call. This will intend yield benefits to the organization in terms of customer loyalty. Also customer’s retention in the future will be attained when such complaints are handled effectively.


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