This research paper by Lawrence Ang and Francis Buttle, published in European Journal of Marketing shows how complaint handling is strongly associated with excellent customer retention. Customer retention has been a significant topic since the mid-1990s, but little research has been conducted into management processes that are associated with excellent customer retention. This research investigates the associations between customer retention and a number of management processes including customer retention planning, budgeting and accountability and the presence of a documented complaints-handling process. A quantitative survey of 170 companies representing all major standard industrial classification (SIC) codes found that excellence at customer retention is positively and significantly associated with the presence of documented complaints-handling processes. None of the other management processes reviewed is significantly associated with excellent customer retention.

Last Modified: March 24, 2015