Customer care panels are examined as an example of one of the ways in which enterprises can seek to monitor the perception that consumers have of the quality of service they receive. From an examination of three paradigms which structure understanding of the choices open to management in establishing current consumer concerns, the “implementation” perspective is selected as being the most pertinent for interpreting the actions of managers in setting up and operating panels. Two examples are chosen for study of the use of panels in the United Kingdom; they concern the railways and retailing. Some conclusions are drawn from this experience of the problems that arise in operating panels. The implications for consumers and managers of the development of customer care panels are reviewed.
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