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Consumer correspondence: an exploratory investigation of consistency between business policy and practice.

Consumer Correspondence: An Exploratory Investigation of Consistency Between Business Policy and Practice

Effective handling of consumer correspondence is recognized as one way for businesses to maintain and enhance relationships with consumers. Previous research has examined actual responses to consumer letters. The present study compares selected consumer packaged goods manufacturers' responses to consumer letters with their respective customer relations directors' descriptions of how consumer correspondence is handled. Several dimensions are examined: response rate to consumer letters, response time, personalization and standardization of response, and types of enclosures.

"Today's marketing environment calls for an effective and efficient marketing correspondence function in all firms" (Nickels and Zabriskie 1973, p. 58). Although that statement was written several years ago, it is as applicable today as it was then. As more firms have embraced the marketing concept, more have acknowledged the importance of listening to consumers. Effective and efficient consumer correspondence handling is a critical element of taking advantage of consumer input. The growing recognition of the usefulness of such input has developed for several interrelated reasons. First, businesses have increasingly faced more competitive markets and product proliferation has added less differentiable products with shorter product life cycles. Therefore, building a loyal base of consumers has become imperative for survival. Second, the growing acceptance and improvement in marketing research has facilitated obtaining consumer input. Third, the difficulty that exists in trying to change consumer attitudes has suggested that it is far easier and more cost effective to retain current customers than to find new ones.

The advantage of keeping contented and brand-loyal customers is understandable, but historically, companies have also had to deal with a portion of customers who find product performance and/or service unacceptable. Converting these alienated customers to satisfied ones has represented a challenging opportunity for some businesses and a lost opportunity for others.

Opportunities being lost by companies unresponsive to consumer complaints were highlighted by a report of the Technical Assistance Research Programs, Inc. (TARP) (1979), a consulting firm hired by the government to assess service in the United States. The report uncovered some startling information. Only about one-sixth of buyers with major product problems complained to the manufacturer because most felt their complaints would not be resolved satisfactorily. Only 10 percent of those unhappy purchasers repurchased from the same company again, while 54 percent of those whose complaints were resolved satisfactorily continued to buy from the same company.

Likewise, Gilly and Gelb (1982) reported a positive relationship between repeat purchases and consumer satisfaction with an organization's response to a prior complaint. In addition to discontinuing product purchase, research has shown that consumers whose complaints were handled unsatisfactorily will tell four or five friends about the negative experience (TARP 1982). In concluding her study of word-of-mouth communications, Richins (1983) pointed out, "In dealing with complaints, marketing institutions must examine not only the costs of remedy but the costs of not settling the complaint as well" (p. 76).

The above reasons for responding to consumers, both those with positive and negative comments, seem compelling. The question then becomes: are companies responding to consumers, and, if they are, in what manner? Suggestions abound regarding the need to respond to consumer communication with speed, interest, and personalization (Dulek 1984; Fenvessy 1970). Others have highlighted the importance of making it convenient for the customer to complain (Andreasen and Best 1977; Bloom 1984; Richins 1983). Whether by furnishing an address on the product label or by giving information about toll free numbers, the company is taking the first step by providing clear information on how to reach the organization.


The study reported here was undertaken to assess whether companies have made progress in responding to consumers. The issue of consumer correspondence is examined by utilizing two complementary approaches: (1) by surveying companies regarding their correspondence handling policies and (2) by corresponding with the same companies as consumers to measure their actual practices. Several dimensions were analyzed, including whether the company responded to consumer letters, length of elapsed time for the response, quality of the response as measured by personalization and standardization of the letter, and types of enclosures. Following an explanation of the research design, a discussion of the findings is presented with suggestions on what businesses could do to improve their relationships with consumers. Policy implications are also identified.

Research Design - Phase I

Figure 1 summarizes the research design for data collection and analysis. Phase I of the study began with the researchers developing a list of 51 frequently purchased "supermarket" consumer goods about which both complimentary and complaining letters could be written. These goods were products that at least one of the researchers had used recently. Ethical considerations prompted the writing of only legitimate and sincere letters, thereby adding realism to the study but necessarily restricting the sample size.

Next, 102 letters (51 praise and 51 complaint) were individually written by the researchers as they might have been composed by typical consumers (i.e., common writing style with nonesoteric vocabulary, use of addresses as shown on the product package, etc.). All letters were separately typed and contained a return address. However, to avoid biasing whether a response was received and/or the type of response, the length of each pair of letters was kept relatively short and consistent, resulting in a mean body length of 66.5 words and a 7.0 word mean difference within pairs. Moreover, the letters did not ask for a response. For disguise purposes, letters within each pair varied somewhat; for example, one letter within each pair was mailed from a midwestern address while the second was mailed from a southwestern address. All letters were mailed on the same day.

Research Design - Phase II

Phase II of the study involved surveying the customer relations director for each of the products. A mail questionnaire and telephone followup resulted in 26 completed surveys for a 51.0 percent response rate. A check of nonrespondents indicated that their companies had policies prohibiting response to all surveys. However, no evidence for systematic nonresponse bias was found. For example, 44 percent of the nonrespondents represented Fortune 500 companies compared with 46 percent of the respondents. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the response rates to consumer letters between survey respondents and nonrespondents.


Response Rate

Acknowledging a consumer's letter is an opportunity to show an individual that the company is listening and that it cares. Ignoring such an opportunity seems inconceivable in light of recent research (Business Week 1984; Gilly and Hansen 1985; Richins 1983). Those results suggest that consumers, dissatisfied with responses to complaints, are likely to spread unfavorable information through word-of-mouth activities, to discontinue or reduce product purchase, and/or to solicit help from consumer or legal agencies. Answering complimentary letters also presents an opportunity to extend and reinforce a customer's already positive outlook.

In general, the proportions of manufacturers responding to praise and complaint letters were not significantly different. However, the results of Phase I of the study did reveal several differences between complaint and praise responses. For example, complaint responses were more likely to: (1) address specific consumer comments, (2) be longer, and (3) include a gift or coupon of greater monetary value. In contrast, praise responses were more likely to suggest other product uses as applications. For a thorough review of Phase I of the study, refer to Martin and Smart (1988).

As shown in Table 1a, however, numerous studies indicate that companies do not answer all consumer correspondence. In the present study, responses to 84.3 percent of the 102 letters were obtained - 44 in response to complaints and 42 in response to praises. In addition, 76.5 percent of the companies were consistent in their handling of both types of letters in that they either responded to both letters or to neither (McNemar test, p = .7744) (see Table 1b).

Table : TABLE 1a Speed of Response to Consumer Praise and Complaint Letters
 Findings (% Response)
Study Praise Complaint
Boshung (1976) - 86 (typed)
 65 (handwritten)
Pearson (1976) 61 74
Ciervo (1980) - 77
Pearson, Hoskins and Gazda (1980) 59 65
Clark et al. (1985) - 87

Table : TABLE 1b Response Rate
 Did Company Respond to
 Praise Letter?
 2 5
 NO (3.9%) (9.8%)

Did Company Respond to
Complaint Letter? 7 37
 YES (13.7%) (72.5%)

McNemar Test, p = .7744 N = 51 pairs of letters Total number of responses received = 86 (84.3%)

Although there is some variation, company policies also indicate that companies are responding to the majority of letters they receive, whether the letters are positive or negative. Twenty-one of the 26 surveyed manufacturers claim they answer 100 percent of all correspondence. The other five respondents, while also indicating that they attempt to respond to nearly all correspondence, qualified their answers. In certain situations (e.g., no return address, "kooky" or nonsensical letters, letters obviously photocopied with only the company name written in separately) consumer correspondence would not or could not be answered.

While the companies indicated that they respond to nearly all consumer correspondence, the results reported here indicate a slight discrepancy between stated policies and actual performance. That is, of the 26 survey respondents, two failed to respond to the consumer praise letter while three failed to respond to the complaint letter. All 26 companies responded to at least one of the letters. In searching for an explanation for this discrepancy, the first place to look is the company's policy for nonresponse. Since all the letters were separately typed, written in a similar manner, and contained a return address, it is doubtful that the particular five letters that received no response were considered nonsensical. Therefore, there appears to be some randomness in several company response procedures. As a result, opportunities to appease (in complaint letter cases) and opportunities to cultivate consumers (in praise letter situations) were lost. Exactly what happened in these cases will never be known, but the implication remains that a few of the companies could benefit from more efficient correspondence processing systems.

Response Speed

The speed with which a company responds to a consumer's letter is another critical dimension of correspondence handling. Fenvessy (1970) suggests that customers typically are satisfied if they receive a reply in a week. Andreasen and Best (1977) recommend that companies provide responses by telephone rather than letter to speed handling. A study done by Gilly and Gelb (1982) provides support for concern over response speed. They found that in cases where consumers complained to a major oil company about nonmonetary losses, satisfaction was greater when the complaint was resolved quickly. In cases that concerned a monetary loss or where the consumer did not have a credit card, satisfaction with the company's response was not significantly related to response speed. The differences were attributed to varying expectations of the results of the complaining process between the two groups. Also, the importance of the complainant's perception of how quickly a reply was received rather than the actual time has been noted (Gilly 1987).

With the exception of the call for a one-week response time (Fenvessy 1970), norms for what constitutes a "prompt" response (as perceived by consumers) are unavailable. However, previous studies do report median or mean response times. Averages range from 18.5 days (Ciervo 1980) to 23 days (Crawford 1970). A more recent study of 179 complaint letters received 96 percent of responses in 19 days (Clark et al. 1985). In the present study, responses to letters averaged 21.1 days - 20.3 days for praise responses and 21.8 days for complaint responses.

While the mean response times do not seem appreciably different than they were in 1970, some companies currently perceive that they answer their correspondence quickly. Customer relations directors report that they try to answer complaint letters in an average of 6.9 days (standard deviation = 4.6), while praise letter response times average a slightly longer 7.5 day response time (standard deviation = 5.3). Allowing six days mail time and four days weekend allowance, companies in this study appear to believe they respond more quickly than they actually do.

Of the 23 cases where both actual and company objective response times (including a ten-day adjustment for weekend and mail time) are available, only 53.8 percent of responses were received in the same or less time than the respective company's stated objective. Both praise (paired t-value = 2.08, p = .025) and complaint letter (paired t-value = 66.95, p = .005) response times were significantly longer than reported company goals. This difference might be explained by several possibilities. First, companies may think they are responding more quickly because that is their stated policy, but they have no follow-up system to monitor actual response times. Second, letters are being processed within the objective time frames, but mailroom procedures are causing substantial delays. Third, letters may be answered by departments other than a consumer relations department, and other departments may follow different response time standards. Regardless of the cause of the discrepancy, it appears that many companies could improve customer service by more closely monitoring response speed.

Even though actual company responses were slightly more rapid for praise letters than complaint letters, 20 percent of respondents indicated a slower response time standard for praise letters than for complaint letters. Praise letters may be more similar in content and, therefore, allow use of a form-letter response. However, while it is understandable that companies are concerned with problems people have with a particular product or brand, having slower expectations for answering praise letters may indicate less appreciation for non-complainant customers. These consumers actually may be the most valuable to the firm because of their favorable predispositions.

Type of Response

Another aspect of correspondence handing is the type of response a company sends (i.e., simply replying with a letter or a letter plus a coupon, money refund, product replacement, or a brochure). Pickle and Bruce (1972) concluded that the type of response, particularly for complaints, is an important factor in consumer satisfaction. They suggested that "(the) inability to achieve corrective action probably causes loss of customers more rapidly than receiving an unsatisfactory product" (p. 99).

While Andreasen and Best (1977) found that one in three complaints were unsatisfactorily resolved, others contend that if an effort is made, consumers are not difficult to satisfy (Cosenza and Wilson 1982). Pearson (1976) found that 94 percent of praise letter writers were satisfied with a "letter only" response, while only 33 percent of complaint letter writers were satisfied with a similar type of response. In another study in which students evaluated company responses to their letters, tangible responses along with a letter led to somewhat higher ratings, although the critical variable seemed to be whether or not a response was received. Almost 93 percent of those receiving a response felt the project was worthwhile, whereas only 75 percent of those not receiving a response felt the same (Pearson, Hoskins, and Gazda 1980).

In previous studies, a variety of types of responses has been reported. For example, in response to specific requests for a refund, Kendall and Russ (1972) received money refunds in 50 percent of replies, merchandise in 31 percent, coupons in 8 percent, and miscellaneous other responses in 11 percent of the cases. Pearson (1976) reported a letter only response to 71.4 percent of praise and 40.5 percent of complaint letters responses, while a letter and some form of free goods were received in 24.5 percent of praise and 47.7 percent of complaint correspondence. More recently, Clark and his colleagues (1985) noted a shift toward increased use of coupons and away from sending replacement merchandise in response to complaints. In their study, responses to complaint letters consisted of 62 percent containing a letter and some form of "free goods," 21 percent a letter and coupon, while 15 percent contained only a letter.

In the present study, the responses were

* 54.9 percent of the manufacturers responded with a letter plus a


* 10.8 percent included a letter plus a small gift or refund,

* 23.5 percent responded with a letter plus educational materials,

brochures, and/or recipe booklets, and

* 13.7 percent responded with a letter only.

When queried about their type of response and enclosures, the customer relations department respondents typically reported replying to most consumers with more than simply a letter alone. For example, 84 percent reported also including some combination of coupons, gifts, refunds, brochures, and/or educational materials. Interestingly, 11 of 25 responding manufacturers reported more generous response policies for complaint letters than for praise letters, while the reverse was true in only four instances.

The customer relations departments' responses to actual consumer letters generally substantiated their self-reported type of response policies. For example, the mean monetary value (i.e., value of coupons, free gifts, and refunds combined) of responses to 24 praise letters (by survey respondents) was only $1.46 in contrast to an average of $2.37 for 23 complaint responses. Interestingly, the monetary value of enclosures in response to complaint letters was significantly correlated with the purchase price of the product (r = 0.48, p = 0.001), whereas no such relationship was found in the responses to praise letters (r = 0.13, p = 0.197).

While responses generally followed the descriptions of company policies, there were some indications that variation in implementation of stated policies may exist. That is, only 52 percent of the actual consumer letters to surveyed manufacturers were answered in a manner consistent with each manufacturer's respective stated policy. In 24 percent of the cases, the actual type of response enclosures were more generous than the stated policy, while actual responses were less generous in the remaining 24 percent of the cases. This lack of consistency between policy and actual response behaviors could be indicative of substantial discretion, insufficient training, or limited supervision of those company individuals charged with the responsibility of handling consumer correspondence - thus leading to subsequent variability.

Response Form

Previous research has indicated consumer satisfaction with written responses to complaints when company responses express empathy, offer assistance, and show diplomacy (Cosenza and Wilson 1982). Whether the response appears consumer- and/or issue-specific (rather than a form letter) may be one of the first indicators of company interest.

Apparently, improved technologies for word processing have given companies the ability to provide more personalized responses to their correspondents. For example, in 1976 Boschung reported 54 percent of responses appeared to be form letters while subsequent studies have reported smaller proportions of form letters (e.g., 25.2 percent for the 1980 Pearson, Hoskins, and Gazda study and 17 percent for the 1985 Clark et al. study).

The present study evaluated degree of personalization on two dimensions. The first measured whether the response letter was personalized by including the consumer's name. Almost all praise (97.6 percent) and complaint (95.5 percent) responses included such personalization. Similarly, most companies reported that 100 percent of company-to-consumer correspondence addressed the consumer by name. Only three companies reported lower rates (98, 50, and 50 percent). All responses received from the 26 surveyed manufacturers were personalized, indicating consistency with their stated policies. These companies appear to be making use of available word processing capabilities. The companies are making an effort to show consumers that they are listening to specific problems by, at the very least, individualizing the salutation.

The second dimension scrutinized whether the company addressed the specific issue raised by the initial consumer letter. The specific issue was addressed in 72.7 percent of the complaint responses while the same was true in only 23.8 percent of the praise responses. Customer relations directors were asked to estimate the percentage of consumer letters answered in a completely standardized (pre-prepared letters or paragraphs used exclusively), somewhat individualized (part of the response is composed specifically in response to the consumer's letter), or completely individualized (all the response is composed specifically in response to the consumer's letter) form.

As seen in Figure 2, the completely individualized response received the least usage, with a mean of 8 percent, while the completely standardized approach received the highest usage, with a mean of 65 percent. The mean for somewhat individualized responses was 27 percent. The mean for somewhat individualized responses was 27 percent. Apparently, most firms surveyed attempt to standardize responses whenever they can, possibly recognizing the benefits of consistency of response, increased efficiency, and quicker turn-around time. However, firms do not blindly respond with only form letters. They appear responsive to the need for some consumer letters to receive individualized attention.

Other Indicators of Company Responsiveness to

Consumer Correspondence

Other measures of company dedication to and interest in consumer input included: (1) whether the company had a written policy regarding handling of consumer letters, (2) whether consumer comments were reported to other departments in the organization and if such comments were used in corporate decision making, and (3) how companies tried to encourage consumer feedback.

Written correspondence handling policies

Evidence of a written policy regarding handling of consumer correspondence would indicate that, at a minimum, the company felt the issue was important enough to address formally. It also may indicate that the company is interested in maintaining a consistent image and not allowing letters to be answered in a haphazard manner. While the majority of surveyed companies (62 percent) reported having a written policy, many (38 percent) did not.

Of the five cases where responses to the initial consumer letters were not received from surveyed manufacturers, two reported no written policy while three had such a policy. Apparently, having a written policy may be a sign of corporate attention to the area, but the lack of a written policy does not help explain follow-through on responses. Most (75 percent) of the companies reporting no written policy managed to respond to both initial consumer letters. This may be an indication that these companies are taking an individualized approach to the majority of correspondence or that general procedures do exist but are not explicitly stated.

Dissemination of consumer letters throughout the organization

Possibly a more important indicator of the value placed on consumer correspondence is whether or not information about the volume and content of consumer letters is reported to departments beyond the one in charge of handling letter responses. Fornell and Westbrook (1984) found that as the ratio of negative to positive consumer communications increased, within-firm transmission of consumer communications lessened. However, without exception, all companies in the study reported here said they forward this information to other departments. Some respondents indicated that comments were directed to the "appropriate" managers while others gave more specific answers. Forty-four percent of the respondents indicated that information from consumer letters is provided to the quality control area. Other areas mentioned were marketing (including sales and advertising) (40 percent of respondents), plant management (24 percent), brand managers (12 percent), and research and development (12 percent). Twenty percent of respondents indicated that the information was provided to all company vice presidents and to the CEO. Two companies mentioned the use of monthly executive summaries to disseminate the information to upper management. These companies appear to value consumer input, and they try to listen to the consumer.

Encouragement of consumer input

The ways a company encourages consumer correspondence may be the most telling sign of the importance placed on consumer input. Thirteen (50 percent) respondents mentioned providing this encouragement by having their address and/or phone number on the package. Twelve (46 percent) respondents said that at least some of their products listed toll free telephone numbers. Four (15.4 percent) respondents mentioned that product packages contain statements specifically inviting consumer questions and comments. Three (11.5 percent) companies noted money-back guarantees on unsatisfactory products. Two (7.7 percent) said they accepted collect calls.

The most proactive example provided by one company was a print and broadcast campaign offering free brochures to consumers. While most companies do try to encourage consumer correspondence, three of the surveyed manufacturers said they do not. Overall, companies appear to recognize the value of consumer input, and they are trying not only to invite consumers to express their opinions but are also trying to make it convenient for them to do so.

The Most Important Principle of Consumer Correspondence Handling

Five dimensions emerged from responses of customer relations directors when asked what they saw as the most important principle of handling consumer correspondence. These included:
 No. of Percentage
 Mentions of Respondents
Speed of response 17 (65.4%)
Make customer happy 12 (46.2%)
Address specific issue 7 (26.9%)
Caring/understanding 7 (26.9%)
Assure consumer of product quality 2 (7.7%)

Quickness of response was the overwhelming top priority. This may indicate a sensitivity to consumers, showing them that the company is listening and placing value on their input. Customer relations directors may feel consumers will perceive a direct relationship between the time it takes to get a response and how sincere the company is in dealing with them. Another explanation might be that speed of response is more easily measured than other aspects of correspondence handling, such as consumer satisfaction with the response, and customer relations directors are evaluated on this criterion.

Almost one-half of the respondents mentioned making sure the customer was happy. This dimension involved two components: a fair compensation and an expression of thanks to the customer for taking the time to write. As one director stated, "Customers are our number one priority." This attitude was evident in trying to make sure that customers were satisfied.

Two areas received the same number of mentions. One, addressing particular issues raised in the correspondence, was viewed as an important way to let consumers know the company was listening specifically to them. As one respondent indicated, "A meaningless reply is not useful." The second involved telling customers that the company cared about their comments and understood their problems. This was seen as an important step in maintaining a positive relationship with the consumer.

The last dimension dealt with reassuring the consumer that the difficulties experienced with the product were unusual and that every effort was being made to maintain high quality. One respondent suggested apologizing to the consumer for any inconvenience and telling him or her that everything was being done to make sure that the problem did not happen again. Another suggestion was letting the correspondents know that people in the organization receive their comments and pay attention to their input.


Overall, the results of this study are positive. Companies appear to be listening to consumers and dedicated to answering consumer correspondence with speed and some degree of personalization. However, there were a number of cases where companies did not respond to correspondence, where responses were received after much longer periods of time than company objectives specified, and where, particularly in praise letter situations, specific issues raised in the consumer letters were not addressed. Given these findings, businesses should consider reevaluating consumer correspondence handling policies and developing a written plan. The plan should specifically address the criteria to be used to determine whether a reply should be sent and in what form. Standards of response speed should be developed, and correspondence handling should be monitored to make sure these standards are met.

Businesses should consider sharing consumer letters with appropriate departments throughout their organizations and letting consumers know letters are being circulated to the people who can help the businesses improve operations. They should also thank the consumer for his or her input and let him or her know that the comments are useful and appreciated. Businesses should also consider increasing controls to ensure that consumer correspondence standards are met. A business might consider implementing a "mystery consumer-writer audit" program much like the mystery shopper audits routinely used in retail and service businesses. Finally, consideration should be given to doing follow-ups with a portion of letter recipients to ascertain their degree of satisfaction with the company's response.


Although the evidence suggests that manufacturers tend to be responsive to consumer correspondence, policy makers should recognize that variation does exist in correspondence handling practices. A portion of this variation seems to be attributed to corporate policy or design. However, some variation seems to be traced to problems of implementation and managerial control, resulting in a degree of randomness in response rate, response speed, type of response, and response form. Perhaps the best way to address variation attributed to corporate policy is to publicize industry norms for business handling of consumer correspondence. Such norms would provide useful benchmarks against which individual businesses might gauge and upgrade their policies. Over time, generally accepted standards of response are likely to evolve, thereby lessening the possibility for government intervention in setting standards. Consumers, too, would benefit from a knowledge of industry response norms, in that they would have some reference point for establishing their expectations of business response. These more realistic expectations are likely to lead to greater consumer satisfaction with business' responses actually encountered.

The present research takes an important step toward establishing these benchmarks, but additional research is needed to investigate the extent that consumer package goods manufacturer norms are generalizable to other industries and to other types of business. For example, how do response norms of consumer durable goods manufacturers compare with those of consumer package goods manufacturers? Similarly, how do norms of commercial service industries, retailers, or even public agencies compare?

The variation in correspondence handling practices stemming from problems of implementation and control might be addressed in at least two ways. First, further investigation is needed to identify the correspondence handling processes used by those businesses that most efficiently and effectively respond to consumer letters. Coupled with existing research, a synthesis of the common procedures among these organizations' systems promises to lead to the development of a generalizable and practical theory of correspondence handling. Publication and dissemination of such findings would possibly enhance the correspondence handling operations of consumer-oriented businesses.

Second, it seems obvious that consumer education programs should play a role in strengthening the effectiveness of communications between businesses and consumers. To illustrate, several customer relations directors reported that some consumer letters were so poorly written or illegible that they were unanswerable. In some instances, for example, consumers fail to include their addresses, or in the case of complaint letters, fail to indicate the specific actions they would like the business to take in response to the complaint. Beyond programs that teach consumers how to write letters of greater impact, consumer education programs also might encourage consumers to recognize that business response is not "perfect." For example, companies generally take about three weeks to respond to a consumer letter, but some unintentionally neglect to respond. Therefore, consumers might be encouraged to write follow-up letters if the first letters are not answered within a month.

With businesses and consumers working to improve their communication with each other, both will surely benefit.


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PHOTO : FIGURE 1 Overview of Research Design

PHOTO : FIGURE 2 Reported Degree of Standardization of Response to Consumer Letters

Charles L. Martin is an Assistant Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing and Small Business Management at The Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, and Denise T. Smart is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing, Marketing Department in the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.
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Author:Martin, Charles L.; Smart, Denise T.
Publication:Journal of Consumer Affairs
Date:Dec 22, 1989
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