An Examination of Guest Complaints and Complaint Communication Channels: The Medium Does Matter!
Susskind, Alex M.
In this study guests of casual-dining restaurants were asked to report how they preferred to complain about service failures they experienced while dining. Guests who reported higher levels of frustration, a higher propensity to complain, and greater information inadequacy generally preferred to complain face-to face to a manager or via a letter written to management. This finding diverges from the expectations created by communication theory, which suggests that face- to-face communication is "richer" than written approaches. Moreover, this study found that complaints lodged face-to-face to nonmanagerial service employees were viewed similarly to complaining via a comment card-a less-rich mode of communication.
casual-dining restaurants; service failure; guest complaints
Required Publisher Statement: © Cornell University. This report may not be reproduced or distributed without the express permission of the publisher