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An examination of consumer advocacy and complaining behavior in the context of service failure

Piotr Chelminski (Department of Marketing, Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island, USA)
Robin A. Coulter (Department of Marketing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 2 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationships between consumer advocacy and consumer complaining behaviors such as voicing and negative word‐of‐mouth in the context of dissatisfactory service experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an experimental design embedded in a survey methodology, the authors examine the relationship between consumer advocacy and the likelihood for complaining about dissatisfactory service experiences among adult US consumers. Additionally, the authors examine the differences between likelihood for voicing and negative word‐of‐mouth (NWOM) in the context of dissatisfactory service experiences at varying levels of service encounter failure.

Findings

The authors find that consumer advocacy is positively related to consumer complaining (i.e. voicing and NWOM), and that likelihood of NWOM is consistently greater than likelihood of voicing.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses a convenience sample of US adult consumers, which could compromise generalizability of the results to broader consumer populations.

Practical implications

Based on these results, the authors suggest that companies and consumer protection agencies appeal to consumers' advocacy tendencies to facilitate voicing so problems can be quickly identified and resolved, and the negative word‐of‐mouth can be minimized.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt known to authors to link consumer advocacy to complaining behaviors in the marketplace.

Keywords

Citation

Chelminski, P. and Coulter, R.A. (2011), "An examination of consumer advocacy and complaining behavior in the context of service failure", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 361-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/08876041111149711

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited