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An Examination of Guest Complaints and Complaint Communication Channels: The Medium Does Matter!
Center for Hospitality Research Publications
  • Alex M. Susskind, Ph.D., Cornell University
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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.
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Citation Information
Susskind, A. M. (2006). An examination of guest complaints and complaint communication channels: The medium does matter! [Electronic article]. Cornell Hospitality Report, 6(14), 6-12.