Complaints-handling processes and organisational benefits: An ISO 10002-based investigation

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Benchmarking data provided by 144 organisations across four industry sectors are consolidated and mined to generate insights into the relationship between complaints-handling processes, as defined in ISO 10002, the International Standard for Complaints Handling, and a number of marketing-related outcomes. Factor analysis of the 17 complaints-handling process variables yields five factors accounting for 62.6% of the overall variance. The most important factors are: visibility and accessibility of the complaints-handling policy and process; easy-to-use process for all complainants; and responsiveness of the complaints-handling process. Collectively these factors account for 24% of the variance in the desired marketing-related outcomes, most notably levels of customer advocacy and customer satisfaction. Although there have been a number of empirical investigations of International Standards, this is the first empirical study to investigate the influence of ISO 10002-conformant complaints-handling processes on marketing-related and broader outcomes. We conclude that complaints-handling processes that conform to ISO 10002 can yield significant marketing-related benefits, and we make recommendations for marketing practitioners.
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