The influence of relationship intention on cell phone users’ attitudes towards complaining and complaint behaviour
In any service environment, there is a strong possibility that customers’ expectations and the actual service delivery are not in unison. When service failures do occur, customers’ attitudes towards complaining directly influence their actual complaint behaviour. As not all customers want to build relationships with service providers, it is imperative that service providers gain a deeper understanding of the behaviour, and specifically the complaint behaviour, of those customers who do have relationship intentions. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of relationship intention on customers’ attitudes towards complaining and complaint behaviour following a service failure within the cell phone industry. Convenience sampling was used, and 605 respondents participated in the study. The results indicate that the majority of respondents who participated in this study had a propensity to complain, and that respondents with high relationship intentions are more likely to voice a billing error to their cell phone network provider than respondents with low relationship intentions. Furthermore, relationship intention should be considered as a variable that could infl uence customers’ attitudes towards complaining and complaint behaviour. The results make a valuable theoretical contribution and have managerial implications for service providers in the cell phone industry.
Key words: relationship intention, attitude towards complaining, customer complaint behaviour, cell phone users