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Client Defection in the Design Industry: A Study of the Causes, Process and Context of Switching Agencies

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This paper explores the factors that cause client defection in the graphic design industry within the context of the business relationship in which it takes place. The paper examines the literature pertaining to defection and relationship dynamics. It highlights studies that demonstrate the financial benefits of customer retention while bemoaning the fact that few organizations seem to understand the importance of developing long-term relationships. A qualitative approach was adopted for the primary research. The findings show that the most common reasons for switching are dissatisfaction with either pricing or design quality. A new model of switching behaviour is proposed, together with a set of practical measures that design agencies can instigate to reduce the likelihood of defection. The implications of this study suggest that design agencies should encourage more active and cooperative participation in the relationship by clients.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/146069202789378431

Publication date: March 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1998, The Design Journal is an international, refereed journal covering all aspects of design. The journal welcomes articles on design in both cultural and commercial contexts. The journal is published four times a year and provides a forum for design scholars, professionals, educators, and managers worldwide. It publishes thought-provoking work that will have a direct impact on design knowledge and that challenges assumptions and methods, while being open-minded about the evolving role of design.
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