"Why isn’t the customer always right? A confirmatory research to find out the drivers of illegitimate complaining customer behaviour"

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In contrast with a lot of literature, customer complaining behaviour does not always need to be driven by a genuine service failure. Therefore, customer complaints may be illegitimate or even downright false. Did you know that 64% of all customer complaints are not fully truth? Customer it king! But this behaviour of customers complaining for other false reasons, cost companies a lot of time, money and energy. Therefore the question for this research was: What are the drivers of customers to engage in illegitimate complaining behaviour? An illegitimate complaint is a complaint for which there is no basis in the quality of the product or service, when compared to professional, legal and industry standards by an independent expert. This behaviour of customers complaining illegitimate can have many reasons. Because it is a type of behaviour, when done on purpose is not only considered illegal but which is also considered unethical by many people, I used a questionnaire because this is often used successfully in studies on customer misbehaviour. Three hypotheses are found to be significant and so 2 drivers are supported in this research. Besides the two drivers who are significant a surprising effect found is the power of a regular customer. It seems those customers who consider themselves as a regular customer increase the effect of illegitimate complaining behaviour. Therefore, it is important to handle the most often returning customers carefully. Regular customers with previous positive experiences have high expectations for service recovery.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen