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Energizing Companies through Customer Compliments


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While complaint management has received much attention, customer compliments and their systematic handling have been largely ignored. Based on two empirical studies, this article suggests that customer compliments bear great potential for benefiting firms, and gives recommendations on how managers can enable, stimulate, and amplify positive customer feedback
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Energizing Companies
through Customer
While complaint management has received much attention, customer
compliments and their systematic handling have been largely ignored. Based on
two empirical studies, this article suggests that customer compliments bear great
potential for benefiting firms, and gives recommendations on how managers can
enable, stimulate, and amplify positive customer feedback.
Petra Kipfelsberger/Heike Bruch/Dennis Herhausen
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Advances in digital technology, above all the internet and social media, have
resulted in increasing opportunities for interactions between customers and
firms. As a result, customers approach firms not only via phone and email
but also via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other media channels. Not sur-
prisingly, the amount of feedback that firms receive from customers – both
directly and indirectly – has increased over the last years (Liu/Zhang, 2010).
While research investigates how firms and employees should react to these
increasing interactions (e.g., Hennig-Thurau et al. 2012; Schögel/Mrkwicka
2011), insights are lacking on how firms and especially employees are affect-
ed by the increasing amount of feedback they receive in these interactions.
We address this gap with two large-scale studies in which we investigate (a)
the status quo of firms’ customer feedback management and (b) how cus-
tomer complaints and compliments are related to employee outcomes such
as emotional exhaustion or employee productivity. Our research shows that
while most firms take care of customer complaints (or in a broader sense of
any form and type of negative customer feedback), less than half pay ade-
quate attention to customer compliments (or in a broader sense to any form
and type of positive customer feedback). Regarding the consequences of cus-
tomer feedback on employees, our findings indicate that customer com-
plaints increase emotional exhaustion among employees and decrease em-
ployee productivity and employee retention while customer compliments
have the opposite effect, i.e. customer compliments decrease emotional ex-
haustion among employees and increase employee productivity and employ-
ee retention. Consequently, this article provides insights into why the com-
mon practice of focusing on customer complaints might be a double-edged
sword, and suggests that customer compliments are at least equally as im-
portant as customer complaints. Based on interviews with some of the man-
agers of the surveyed firms, we develop a process model and give recom-
mendations on how firms may unleash the potential inherent in customer
Status Quo of Customer Feedback Management
Managers’ prevalent way of thinking regarding feedback management is rep-
resented by the following statement: “We are pleased about positive custom-
er feedback but their complaints are more important for us. We react to them
Dr. Petra Kipfelsberger
is Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute
for Leadership and Human Resource
Management, University St. Gallen (HSG),
Prof. Dr. Heike Bruch
is Professor for Leadership and Director of
the Institute for Leadership and Human
Resource Management, University St.
Gallen (HSG), Switzerland.
Prof. Dr. Dennis Herhausen
is Assistant Professor at the Institute of
Marketing, University St. Gallen (HSG),
Petra Kipfelsberger
University St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland
Heike Bruch
University St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland
Dennis Herhausen
University St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland
Statement of a Call Center Advisor
“It’s a sad fact of customer service that while complaints get logged,
formalized and circulated, compliments and thanks are often just
briefly expressed to one individual before disappearing off into the
ether, never to be acknowledged again. It’s a shame, because for many
customer service professionals these are the moments that make the
job rewarding. Carver 2013
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and can learn from them” (personal communication with the
customer feedback manager of a Swiss manufacturing firm).
Customer feedback management encompasses the planning,
implementation and control of all measures a firm takes re-
lated to customer complaints and compliments (Stauss 2011).
Accordingly, it includes the subareas of complaint and com-
pliment management. Many firms focus on customer com-
plaints for at least two reasons: first, research has found a pos-
itive relationship between complaint satisfaction and custom-
er loyalty (Homburg/Fuerst 2005) and second, firms strive to
improve their processes and offerings based on their learn-
ings from customer complaints (e.g. Wirtz et al. 2010). This
latter position goes hand in hand with the claim that “com-
plaints are a firms best friend” (Larivet/Brouard 2010, p. 537).
It is a different story regarding customer compliments. Al-
though the relevance of customer compliments was pointed
out more than ten years ago (Kraft/Martin 2001), researchers
have only just started to investigate the importance, effects,
and processes of a systematic compliment management. As
an exception, Stauss (2011) developed a conceptual model for
customer complimenting behavior and described a process
model for a systematic compliment management. However,
insights into the actual prevalence of complaint and compli-
ment management practices and the resulting effects on em-
ployees and on corporate success are missing.
Hence, we first investigated the current state of how (more
and less successful) firms manage negative and positive feed-
back. In order to do so, we gathered data from 70 German ser-
vice firms in 2013 asking whether they take heed of custom-
er complaints and compliments. In addition, managers were
asked to rate the overall success of their firm. Figure 1 displays
the results of this investigation. Many firms take care of cus-
tomer complaints but less than half of all firms also take heed
of customer compliments. Thus, compliment management
clearly lags behind complaint management. Importantly,
Taking heed of negative customer feedback
Taking heed of positive customer feedback
Percentage of firms that take heed of negative and
positive customer feedback
Successful firms
Unsuccessful firms
Source: Survey among 70 German service firms (mean-split of successful and unsuccessful firms)
Fig. 1 Taking Heed of Customer Compliments as a Differentiating Factor
“The common practice of focusing on
customer complaints may be a double-
edged sword; customer compliments are
at least equally as important as customer
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while successful and unsuccessful firms do not differ in their
attention towards complaints, we found that 55% of success-
ful firms take heed of compliments, but only 32% of unsuc-
cessful firms do so.
In order to learn more about these differences, we followed
up with the same firms and asked their management to eval-
uate to what degree they systemically manage negative as well
as positive customer feedback. For this assessment, we chose
the following three categories: (1) stimulation, i.e. actively
asking customers to give feedback, (2) systematization,
i.e. continuously gathering customer feedback in a systemat-
ic way, and (3) dissemination of customer feedback, i.e. ac-
tively spreading customer feedback within the organization.
Figure 2 displays the firms’ actual feedback management prac-
tices which were also related to their success. We found that
successful firms manage both complaints and compliments in
a more active and systematic manner than less successful
firms. However, while we only found relatively small differ-
ences regarding complaint management practices and corpo-
rate success, one of the key differentiating factors between
more and less successful firms appears to be the stimulation,
Management Summary
Today, the amount of customer feedback which firms
and employees receive on a regular basis is increasing.
Whereas most firms focus on customer complaints and
manage those systematically, our research shows that
successful firms also take heed of customer compli-
ments and actively stimulate, systemize, and dissemi-
nate customer compliments more often than unsuccess-
ful firms. Additionally, our results revealed that employ-
ee productivity and retention is higher, and emotional
exhaustion is lower, in firms with frequent customer
compliments. These findings suggest that customer
compliments have at least the same potential of benefit-
ing the firm as customer complaints. To this end, we
present a process model and levers for benefiting most
from customer compliments.
Source: Survey among 70 German service firms (mean-split of successful and unsuccessful firms); the numbers describe the difference between success-
ful and unsuccessful firms; i.e. what successful firms do more
Fig. 2 Compliment Management as a Success Factor
Dissemination of positive customer feedback
Systematization of positive customer feedback
Stimulation of positive customer feedback
Dissemination of negative customer feedback
Systematization of negative customer feedback
Stimulation of negative customer feedback
How successful firms differ from unsuccessful firms
Successful firms Unsuccessful firms
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systemization, and dissemination of positive customer feed-
back. In other words, a firms compliment management prac-
tices and its success are positively related.
Because of these compelling results which highlight the
potential inherent in customer compliments, we set our fo-
cus on customer compliment management, in particular on
the three aspects of compliment management in which suc-
cessful firms differed from less successful firms. More spe-
cifically, we wanted to identify potential reasons and obsta-
cles why firms neither stimulate nor systemize nor dissem-
inate customer compliments. We therefore interviewed some
of the managers and confronted them with our results. In
the following, we summarize the insights obtained on why
some firms pay less attention to compliments as compared
to complaints:
No stimulation: First of all, in many firms neither the
management nor the employees stimulate customers to
give positive feedback. This might be due to the fact that
firms do not even expect positive customer feedback be-
cause of their one-sided focus on customer complaints.
The following anecdote from a German transportation
company illustrates this lack of positive expectations: An
employee of a call-center who deals with customer ques-
tions and complaints all day long was so surprised to hear
a positive customer statement, he did not even know
where to put it in the over-engineered customer manage-
ment system because there was just no category for cus-
tomer compliments.
No systematization: Many firms do not gather customer
compliments continuously and systematically. In the man-
agers’ view, positive customer feedback does not require any
corrective action of the firm so they do not see the need for
gathering customer compliments systematically. However,
many managers overlook the fact that customer feedback
might not only tell firms what to change but also what to
keep. In times of ongoing change knowing the firm’s
strengths might be crucial.
No dissemination: Positive customer feedback is often not
systematically disseminated within the firm. Instead, cus-
tomer compliments are mostly trapped at the point of
entry and not forwarded to anyone. As opposed to that, in
cases of customer complaints, firms invest resources to
retrace the production or service delivery process to detect
the origin of the problem and the employees who are
Negative customer
Positive customer
Affective climate
Emotional exhaustion
Affective Reactions Employee OutcomesWork Events
Fig. 3 How Customer Feedback is Linked to Employee Outcomes
Source: Survey among 10,953 employees of 80 German firms (data sources: employee group 1: negative and positive customer feedback; employee
group 2: affective climate; employee group 3: emotional exhaustion; top management: productivity and retention).
26 Marketing Review St. Gallen 1 | 2015
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accountable for it. Much fewer firms do the same, namely
retracing the origination processes, when there is positive
customer feedback. They do not invest the time and effort
to find the team or employee for whom the praise and ap-
plause would have been meant. Besides the costs in terms
of time and effort, managers are also afraid to disseminate
customer compliments because they fear that employees
will rest on their laurels and reduce their efforts.
Overall, these aspects form an obstacle which firms might
have to overcome in order to be successful in the long term.
To provide even more evidence why relying solely on custom-
er complaint management while neglecting compliment man-
agement is outdated, we here present a rather new perspective
on how to look at customer feedback management, by look-
ing at the influences of complaints and compliments on em-
The Neglected Influences of Complaints and
Compliments on Employees
So far, managerial practice and existing research mostly con-
sider negative customer feedback as a source for organization-
al learning and improvement, and hence as a desired, positive
stimulus (e.g., Larivet/Brouard 2010; Wirtz/Tomlin 2000). For
example, at Charles Schwab Corporation, a brokerage firm in
San Francisco, managers do a daily review of customer com-
plaints which their subordinates received the day before in or-
der to derive required actions for improvement (Markey et al.
2009). However, very few studies have considered other con-
sequences of customer feedback. In particular, the conse-
quences on an organization’s affective climate and employee
reactions to both negative and positive customer feedback are
largely ignored by the customer feedback management liter-
This is an important shortcoming as research on employ-
ees’ affective state at work found that work events which are
related to customers may arouse emotions such as anger or
happiness among employees (Basch/Fisher 2000). Although
Maslach posited that “clients have as much power to hurt staff
with their comments as they do to reward them” (1978, p.
120), we know very little about employees’ affective reactions
to customer complaints and compliments. On top of that, in
times when everyone can find customer feedback via blogs,
Twitter, Facebook, and other media channels, customer feed-
back might not only affect service and front-line employees
but also employees across the entire firm. We therefore car-
ried out a large-scale study in order to learn more about the
affective and behavioral consequences of customer feedback
on the entire workforce.
We based our conceptual model on affective events theory
which illustrates potential linkages between customer feed-
back and employee outcomes. The central notion of affective
events theory is that emotional situations at work elicit emo-
tional reactions of employees and that those reactions influ-
ence employees’ work attitudes and behavior (Weiss/Cropan-
zano, 1996). In our model, we considered both negative and
positive customer feedback as affective work events. The emo-
tional reactions of employees were represented by a firms af-
fective climate and the affect-driven employee outcomes by
emotional exhaustion, employee productivity, and employee
retention (see figure 3).
In order to test our model, we collected survey-based data
in 80 German firms across different industries entailing the
responses of 10,953 employees. Employees of each firm were
randomly distributed to certain subgroups of survey ques-
tions. One group of employees was asked whether they receive
negative and/or positive customer feedback, a second group
of employees how they evaluate the affective climate of their
organization, and a third group of employees how they eval-
uate the level of their emotional exhaustion. Top managers
Main Propositions
More and less successful firms differ in the active
management of customer compliments.
Negative as well as positive customer feedback influ-
ences the entire organization. This means customer
feedback affects all employees, even those without di-
rect customer contact.
Firms should implement customer-, organization-,
and employee-related levers in order to enable and
stimulate customer compliments and to amplify their
energizing effects.
“Many managers overlook the fact that
customer feedback might not only tell
firms what to change but also what to
k e e p .”
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provided data on employee productivity and retention rates.
In addition, we included leadership quality, which was rated
by a fourth group of employees; factors like firm size and in-
dustry affiliation were used as control variables. Figure 3
shows the revealed linkages. In detail, we found that custom-
er complaints are directly linked to emotional exhaustion
among employees. Furthermore, customer complaints have a
negative effect on a firms affective climate. This also explains
why customer complaints reduce employee productivity and
employee retention while they increase emotional exhaustion.
Our findings on the negative effects of customer complaints
are remarkable and should be alarming for firms which heav-
ily receive and disseminate customer complaints. In contrast,
customer compliments are indirectly linked to a decrease of
emotional exhaustion and an increase of employee productiv-
ity and employee retention because they are positively linked
to a firm’s affective climate. We conclude that customer com-
pliments are a source of motivation for employees which help
to reduce emotional exhaustion and to retain employees. Im-
portantly, the effects of positive and negative work events go
beyond the general positive impact of leadership quality.
Benefiting from Customer Compliments
Given our findings that successful firms manage customer
compliments systematically and that customer compliments
have positive effects on employees, we developed a process
model which describes and summarizes how to benefit most
from customer compliments. The four steps are: taking heed
of customer compliments, enabling and stimulating custom-
er compliments, amplifying customer compliments, and con-
serving customer compliments. In the following, these four
steps, which are illustrated in figure 4, are described in detail.
Taking Heed of Customer Compliments
In a first step, it is crucial that firms pay attention to custom-
er compliments. Customer compliments are largely a matter
of conscious perception (Kraft/Martin 2001). Thus, taking
into consideration the possibility that customers might ex-
press their appreciation, gratitude, and happiness towards em-
ployees and the firm may already increase the amount of cus-
tomer compliments perceived by managers and employees. In
addition, individuals’ perception of compliments and their
personal relation to compliments and positive feedback are
influenced by the cultural context and factors like socializa-
tion or education. As a consequence, managers should gain
awareness about these individual and contextual factors and,
whenever possible, incorporate contextual factors when train-
ing the perceptual capacities and attitudes of employees con-
cerning compliments.
Stimulating and Enabling Customer
Having increased the attention towards customer compli-
ments, the next step is to reflect on factors that may stimulate
customer compliments and enable them to unfold their mo-
tivational forces. As depicted in figure 4, we suggest levers
that refer to customers, organizations, and employees.
Customer-Related Levers
Rename your firm’s feedback management. Due to the
dominant mindset regarding customer complaints, some
firms call their customer feedback management and the
corresponding platform for customers ‘complaint manage-
ment’, which makes it almost impossible for customers to
provide compliments. So, firms should rename their feed-
back management platform with the neutral term of ‘cus-
tomer feedback’ or ‘customer compliments and complaints’.
Such neutral wording may avoid bias and prompt custom-
ers to come up with compliments for employees and the
Use innovative channels for gathering feedback. As many
firms ask for customer feedback, customers may get tired
of providing feedback. So, creative ways and unusual chan-
nels might be necessary to stimulate and excite customers
to provide feedback. For example, a Swiss hospital person-
Lessons Learned
Managers should become aware that customer feed-
back influences the affective climate of a firm.
In addition to complaints, firms should also actively
manage customer compliments.
Managers should enable and stimulate customer com-
pliments and amplify their motivating effects.
“Customer complaints are directly and
positively linked to emotional exhaustion
among employees.
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Employee -related
Taking heed of
Enabling and
Benefiting from
alized its customer feedback management and introduced
Linda, a real person, as the customer feedback manager who
is accessible to all patients as well as the general public. The
campaign was called “Tell it to Linda. The use of multiple
channels and the personalization led to a tremendous in-
crease of received customer feedback in total (584 custom-
er comments in total compared to 111 comments in previ-
ous years).
Thank customers for compliments. It is essential that firms
thank customers for their compliments. Although this rec-
ommendation is obvious, many firms do not take the time
to come back to customers in a grateful manner and to pos-
itively resonate to customer compliments. When not doing
so, they miss a chance to foster customers’ loyalty and to
stimulate further compliments from customers. Moreover,
a firm’s reaction to customer compliments may also include
showing the expected or real positive impact to customers.
For example, the customer may be informed that the man-
ager and the whole team were very pleased about his/her
positive comments and that everyone will do their best to
provide the same excellent experience next time.
Organization-Related Levers
Make top management commitment visible. As with many
strategic initiatives, visible top management commitment
is a crucial factor. Top managers must understand the need
for managing customer compliments systematically before
new systems and processes can be implemented if neces-
sary. Top managers should personally care about customer
compliments and address them in front of leaders and em-
ployees. Through such behavior they act as role models and
pave the way for customer compliments penetrating the en-
tire organization.
Implement a systematic compliment management. Based
on the findings of our studies, we recommend to implement
a systematic compliment management. In doing so, firms
should first clarify their goals for managing customer com-
pliments systematically. As highlighted throughout this ar-
ticle, potential goals of customer compliment management
are leveraging employee motivation and employee reten-
tion, learning about the company’s strengths, strengthening
customer loyalty, or improving the affective climate. If firms
have decided on their specific targeted intentions, they can
Source: Adapted from Kipfelsberger (2013)
Fig. 4 Benefiting from Customer Compliments
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make better decisions on the systems and processes they
want to establish in order to handle customer compliments
systematically and strategically. Firms which have already
established a complaint management system may incorpo-
rate the systematic and continuous management of custom-
er compliments.
Create customer touch points for every employee. Firms
should create customer touch points for every employee,
even for those who do not work in the front line. Such
close – even though irregular – contact to customers will
enable employees to receive customer feedback and espe-
cially customer compliments firsthand. For example, Hil-
ti, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of high-quality
power tools, machines and equipment for construction
and building maintenance professionals located in Liech-
tenstein, has issued the guideline that at least 60 percent
of their employees need to do some direct sales work
(Bruch/Vogel 2011).
Employee-Related Levers
Spread customer compliments across the company. Firms
should actively spread customer compliments, as does Bar-
mer GEK, an insurance company headquartered in Wup-
pertal, which gathers all customer compliments on white-
boards and positions these in places frequently passed by
employees. Alternatively, customer compliments may also
be posted on the intranet.
Empower employees. Firms should empower their employ-
ees because empowered employees feel more responsible for
their work outcomes. Consequently, they will more keenly
experience customer compliments as they will feel account-
able for them.
Reward employees and teams based on customer compli-
ments. In order to leverage the natural motivation to report
or forward positive feedback, organizations should consid-
er using the amount and quality of customer compliments
for performance evaluation purposes (Wirtz et al. 2010).
However, as getting publicly praised or monetarily reward-
ed might motivate employees to fake customer compli-
ments, a safeguard has to be built in, e.g. by rewarding the
entire team for customer compliments.
Amplifying the Power of Customer Compliments
Use unusual ways of spreading positive feedback. In order
to amplify the motivational force of customer compli-
ments, firms should actively spread positive customer
feedback within the entire organization in a way that
catches employees’ attention, as exemplified by an inter-
nal communication campaign of Audi AG, an automotive
firm headquartered in Ingolstadt. Managers of the com-
munication department selected representative customer
comments which had been published on Facebook, bal-
ancing positive and negative customer feedback. They
printed the catchy statements such as “Love at first sight
on large-format banners and posters and put them up in
manufacturing halls, staff restaurants, and firm buildings
during the weekend without informing employees in ad-
vance (see figure 5). When the employees came back on
Monday morning, they were surprised to find these aes-
thetically attractive banners, which evoked a vivid dia-
logue about customer feedback.
Share stories about customer compliments. Leaders should
always be on the look-out for stories, facts, and figures re-
garding customer compliments, absorb them and share
them with their teams. In doing so, leaders signal to em-
ployees that customer compliments are important, valued,
and desired. Furthermore, leaders are in a good position to
reinforce the received customer recognition. They can share
the appreciative customer quotes during team meetings or
Source: © AUDI AG (Translations, left panel: “I won’t drive any other
car!”, right panel: “This is art – not a car!”)
Fig. 5 Spreading Customer Compliments
at Audi AG
“The basic idea is to keep the experience
of customers’ appreciation in the staff s
memory as part of the firms bright
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send an e-mail to the team including a personal remark of
Cultivate celebration rituals. Firms should amplify the sign-
aling effect of customer compliments by cultivating rituals
for celebrating customer compliments in special events such
as employee town hall meetings. Teams might be honored
in public if they have received special customer compli-
ments. Such staging of customer compliments with the as-
sociated team might serve as a motivational role model for
other teams.
Conserving Customer Compliments
The fourth and last step is to conserve the best customer com-
pliments, gifts, and stories in an appreciative and appealing
way. The basic idea here is to keep the experience of custom-
ers’ appreciation in the staff’s memory as part of the firm’s
bright history. Firms should use such customer compliments
in their annual reports, in employee brochures, or even in the
process of staff onboarding. For example, Swiss International
Air Lines had received a personal painting from a customer
in which he made a strong compliment to the firm. In order
to share such a special gift with all employees, Swiss included
a photo of this painting in its employee brochure.
While we acknowledge that customer complaints may help to
stimulate learning processes and lead to improvements, our
research revealed the negative affective consequences of cus-
tomer complaints on employees and on the organizational cli-
mate. In contrast, customer compliments act as energizers:
they motivate employees, help to retain the workforce, and
even increase productivity. Therefore we suggest that manag-
ers pay at least the same attention to compliments as they pay
to complaints. In particular, they should stop fearing that cus-
tomer compliments might lead employees to rest on their lau-
rels. In order to benefit most from customer compliments,
managers should follow the processes described above.
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Social Media erfordert ein verändertes Verständnis des Marketing, das dem Spiel an einem Flipperautomaten ähnelt – Marketing-„Kugeln“ werden auf chaotische Weise von Social-Media-„Bumpern“ und -„Slingshots“ umgelenkt, beschleunigt oder ausgebremst – zuweilen mit drastischen Konsequenzen. Der Artikel beschreibt dieses Flippermodell, identifiziert daraus resultierende Phänomene und diskutiert Implikationen für eine marktorientierte Unternehmensführung im Social-Media-Zeitalter.
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Most companies understand the importance of complaint handling, customer satisfaction measurement and service recovery, and many firms have systems and procedures to do at least part of these activities. However, few companies have implemented integrated customer feedback systems to systematically collect, analyse and disseminate the various types of feedback coming into the firm and guide customer-focused learning, continuous improvement and process redesign. A key reason is the difficulties faced in integrating various systems and procedures. This paper focuses on how to design, and cost-effectively run, a completely integrated customer feedback system (CFS) that ensures continuous learning and improvement in service quality, as well as productivity.
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Purpose Customer feedback can help to identify problem areas and strengths, and generate ideas for service improvements. Most feedback is given to frontline employees directly rather than submitted through formal channels. UZnfortunately, employees tend to be reluctant to report such unsolicited feedback. This paper seeks to explore key drivers of employees' willingness to report customer feedback to facilitate organizational learning. Specifically, the paper examines the joint effects of relational social capital, structural social capital, feedback valence (FV) (positive versus negative), and the intended use of information (service improvement versus performance evaluation) on employees' willingness to report unsolicited customer feedback back to the organization. Design/methodology/approach The paper used two studies. First, semi‐structured in‐depth interviews of employees across organizational levels in two service firms were conducted to explore the relationships between the variables of interest. Second, a quasi‐experimental study was conducted in which FV and intended use of information were manipulated in a true experimental design, and respondents' organization served as backdrop to measure relational and structural social capital. Findings FV and the intended use of information moderate the impact of social capital on employees' reporting intention. Specifically, the authors found that social capital had a positive impact on employees' willingness to report negative feedback used for evaluation purposes (social capital was less important when used for service improvements). In contrast, for positive feedback, social capital had a positive impact when feedback was used for service improvements (but less so in an evaluation context where staff were naturally motivated to report positive feedback). Practical implications Firms need to boost social capital to enhance employees' willingness to report negative feedback that is used for performance evaluation, and positive feedback that is used for understanding and cementing strengths. Social capital can be enhanced through increasing trust and a shared vision (through open and frequent communications), and through providing incentives (rewards and recognition) and improved reporting processes, infrastructure, and training. Originality/value Service employees' reporting behavior of customer feedback received is important but under‐researched. This paper is a first step into understanding the drivers of employees' willingness to report such feedback.
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In spite of accepted definitions of job satisfaction as "affect" very little is known about the causes and consequences of true affective experiences in work settings. Working from the basic literature on moods and emotions, we introduce a theory of affective experience at work which emphasizes the role of work events as proximal causes of affective reactions. We discuss the structure of affective experiences, their situational and dispositional causes and their effects on performance and job satisfaction.
Mit Social Media, mobilen Anwendungen und viralen Kampagnen haben sich die Kommunikationsmöglichkeiten für Unternehmen stark verändert. Die neuen Marketingkanäle und -konzepte bieten zahlreiche Chancen und Herausforderungen. Zu den Veränderungen und ihren Folgen bietet der Beitrag einen Überblick. Die abschließende Bewertung der einzelnen Kommunikationsansätze gibt Anregungen für den Umgang mit dem „Communication Shift“. Mit der wachsenden Verbreitung interaktiver Medien und mobiler Kommunikation gelten für das Marketing neue Spielregeln. Bei den Verantwortlichen rufen die neue Nutzeraktivität, der vermeintliche Kontrollverlust und die komplexen Zusammenhänge der vernetzten Kommunikationswelt aber meist noch Unsicherheit hervor. Voraussetzung für den Umgang mit dem sogenannten „Communication Shift“ ist das Verständnis der Grundlagen und Auswirkungen dieses Kommunikationswandels.Kommunikation im Wandel?Erkennbar ist der Communication Shift an der neuen Vielzahl interaktiver und mobiler ...
The strategic intelligence literature includes many studies on the use of sales forces and exhibitions; however, customer complaints are generally sidestepped in the strategic intelligence context. This article takes a theoretical approach to the interaction between strategic intelligence and complaint management. From our literature review, we draw an exploratory model of the link between the two processes and emphasize the most important complaint handling initiatives for strategic intelligence, both for its gathering and protection aspects. An analytical presentation of the intelligence that can be collected from complaints is proposed. The research should be helpful to managers who want to understand better or design a complaint management system that is ‘strategic intelligence oriented’.
Der Begriff ‚Feedbackmanagement‘ wird zwar im Kontext des Customer Relationship Management viel verwendet (u. a. Beasty 2007; Musico 2009; McCay 2009), aber kaum in begrifflicher und konzeptioneller Hinsicht diskutiert. ‚Feedback‘ ist im Kern ein interpersonales Konstrukt und bezeichnet eine Rückmeldung an eine Person, wie deren Verhalten wahrgenommen bzw. verstanden wird und was dieses Verhalten bewirkt. Mit der Information über die Fremdwahrnehmung der Person geht meist die Absicht einher, eine Reflexion der Selbstwahrnehmung einzuleiten und bestimmte Verhaltensweisen zu stärken, andere zu ändern. In diesem Sinne stellen Feedbacks im innerbetrieblichen Kontext ein wesentliches Element von Mitarbeitergesprächen dar (Mentzel et al. 2009).
This article addresses how an organization's complaint management affects customer justice evaluations and, in turn, customer satisfaction and loyalty. In delineating an organization's complaint management, the authors draw a distinction between two fundamental approaches, the mechanistic approach (based on establishing guidelines) and the organic approach (based on creating a favorable internal environment). The empirical analysis is based on a dyadic data set that contains managerial assessments of companies' complaint management and complaining customers' assessments with respect to perceived justice, satisfaction, and loyalty. Findings indicate that though both the mechanistic and the organic approach significantly influence complaining customers' assessments, the mechanistic approach has a stronger total impact. Moreover, the study provides evidence of a primarily complementary relationship between the two approaches. Another key facet of the study is related to the moderating influences of the type of business (business-to-business versus business-to-consumer) and type of industry (service versus manufacturing). The results show that the beneficial effects of the mechanistic approach are stronger in business-to-consumer settings than in business-to-business ones and for service firms than for manufacturing firms.
Realizing that customer retention is more critical than ever, companies have ramped up, their efforts to listen to customers. But many struggle to convert their findings into practical prescriptions for customer-facing employees. Some companies are addressing that challenge, say three Bain & Company consultants, by creating feedback loops that start at the front line. They forgo elaborate, centralized feedback mechanisms in favor of quickly polling customers with the question, How likely are you to recommend us? Firms use the responses to calculate their Net Promoter Score (NPS), a metric everyone in the organization can track. The greatest impact comes from relaying the results immediately to the employees who just served the customers - and empowering those employees to act on any issues raised. Allianz used this method to pinpoint make-or-break customer experiences. Claims representatives in a European insurance operation, for instance, learned that delays in reimbursement were a huge source of frustration for customers. Workers rapidly solved the problem by developing a new set of protocols, which spurred a sizable increase in NPS - and in policy renewals. Over time, NPS feedback can also be compiled into a baseline of customer experience, which firms can then draw upon to field-test ideas or make process and policy refinements. The household fixture maker Grohe did this by tracking the effect that the number of sales calls had on NPS in one of its markets. Grohe saw that scores spiked at three visits and then fell off. In response, it cut back on unproductive customer contact and freed up 25% more sales capacity.