Dealing with complaining customers in sport clubs

Term Paper, 2010

40 Pages, Grade: 1,3



1 Introduction

2 Theoretical basis
2.1 Complaint management
2.2 Targets and Tasks of a complaint management system
2.3 Integration in the Customer Relationship Management

3 Complaint management for sport clubs
3.1 Importance of a complaint management system in sport clubs
3.2 Complaint management process for sport clubs
3.3 Direct process
3.3.1 Encourage complaints
3.3.2 Accepting complaints
3.3.3 Compromising complaints
3.3.4 Complaint reaction
3.4 Indirect Process
3.5 Instrument Service Guarantees

4 Outlook

5 References

List of figures

Illustration 1: Overview over the complaint management process (cf. Stauss, B., & Seidel, W. ,2002, p. 90)

Illustration 3: Overview over the complaint management process (cf. Stauss, B., & Seidel, W. ,2002, p. 90)

Illustration 4: Internal IT-Complaint Management (compiled by the author)

Illustration 5: Dealing with complaints (compiled by the author)

Illustration 6: Internal Process (compiled by the author)

1 Introduction

Dealing with the opinions of customers costs money. There must be a complaint management system implemented to accommodate the complaints of customers and solve their problems. For this activity employees are necessary. This leads to higher costs. These costs reduce the budget of a sports organization. Many sports organizations do not see the importance of such a management. For them an implementation of such a system is not necessary. The literature has dealt with complaint management in sport organizations for few years. Such a management system is still a new discipline in sport management.

The goal of this essay is to demonstrate the importance of complaint management for professional sports organizations. There also should be set out proposals for the implementation of such a management in sport organizations. A further objective is to present a complaint management process for sport clubs. Developing a complaint management process for the participant market is not an object of this essay. A process should be presented that helps sport organizations to improve their service.

This scientific paper is addressed primarily to people with some knowledge in marketing and sport management.

The paper consists of four parts. A general introduction to the topic of the essay will be dealt with in the first chapter. The second part includes the theoretical part of the work. In this chapter first the term “complaint management” will be defined. After this tasks and objectives of a complaint management system will be presented. Then the fit of complaint management into the customer relationship management will be shown. The third part deals with the implementation of complaint management in sport organization. First there will be shown arguments why complaint management is a very important system for sport organizations. After this a complaint management process will be presented with relevant aspects referring to the usage for a sport club. Finally there will be presented an instrument to deal with complaining customers. A short outlook is the final part of this scientific paper.

2 Theoretical basis

This part deals with the definition of an important term for this essay and how it can be used in an organization. At first the term "complaint management" will be defined. Objectives and tasks of such a complaint management system will be explained and illustrated. Finally there will be presented how the complaint management can be classified into an organization.

2.1 Complaint management

Not every customer of a company or organization is satisfied with the service provided to them. This dissatisfaction leads persons to complain. These complaints must be managed. To carry this out it is necessary to implement a complaint management system in an organization. Complaint management is therefore an active process of the company for the targeted design of the customer relationships and increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, so as not to endanger performance despite errors building and strengthening customer relationships (cf. Bruhn, 2008, p. 211).

Another interesting definition is the following: „Beschwerdemanagement betrifft den systematischen unternehmerischen Umgang mit Kundenbeschwerden. Ziele des Beschwerdemanagements liegen in der Stabilisierung gefahrdeter Kundenbeziehungen und der Qualitatssicherung. Zur Zielerreichung sind die Aufgaben des direkten und indirekten Beschwerdemanagementprozesses zu erfullen. Zudem bedarf es einer konsistenten Gestaltung von personalpolitischen, informationstechnologischen und organisatorischen Rahmen-bedingungen“ (Gabler Verlag, 2010).

Complaints can help companies to improve their products or services. Many companies recognized the importance of complaint management, developed a complaint management program and established their corporate structure to take the complaints of customers serious and to solve problems.

Complaint Management is standardized. Since 2005 in Germany exits the Norm DIN ISO 10002:2004 with the title: “Quality management - Customer satisfaction - Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations”. This norm gives a hint on the process of complaints handling within an organization. ISO 10002:2004 addresses different aspects of complaints handling (cf. International Organization for Standardization, 2010).

2.2 Targets and Tasks of a complaint management system

There are three objectives of a complaint management system. The first objectives are global. This means increasing profit and competitive edge. Furthermore complaint management tries to achieve objectives that are relevant for the turnover. This could be to stabilize endangered customer relationships or to improve service or product quality using complaint information. This results in a higher buying intensity and frequency. Another element are cost relevant objectives. This could be the avoidance of internal and external failure-related costs (cf. Stauss & Seidel, 2002).

This means that for a company it is important to increase the profit and competitiveness by increasing the customer satisfaction. Dissatisfied customers might prefer another provider. In this case the enterprise incurs losses.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Illustration 1: Overview over the complaint management process (cf. Stauss, B. & Seidel, W. ,2002, p. 90)

The illustration shows an overview of a complaint management process and shows that such a process is divided into a direct and an indirect process.

Direct means that the complaining person is integrated into the process. Indirect means that the complaining person is not included in the process. In the direct complaint management process the step “encourage complaints” has the purpose to convince people that complaining is nothing negative and customers should complain. Therefore complaint management channels should be installed to give customers the possibility to complain. In the second step “accepting of complaints” there will be described the organization of the entrance of complaints. The initial approach is very important to reduce the dissatisfaction of a customer. Therefore employees should know all guidelines and standards how to deal with complaints and also social-psychological knowledge to reassure critical situations. The following step called “compromising in complaints” is the internal processes of solving the problem and defining responsibilities and time aspects. Furthermore this step includes the installation of a mechanism to control the process. The last step of the direct complaint management process is the “complaint reaction”. This process step defines how an answer to a complaining person should look like and which guidelines should be maintained. In addition to this step the management has to think about possibilities to compensate the mistake. This could be material or immaterial offers. Material offers could be price reduction or a new ticket. An immaterial offer could be an apology (cf. Gabler Verlag, 2010).

The indirect process means that the complaining person is not involved in the process. The first step is the evaluation. In this step all information is monitored, analyzed and the results are processed systematically for entrepreneurial decisions. These tasks are also part of the “controlling”, “reporting of complaints” and “use of information” (cf. Gabler Verlag, 2010).

2.3 Integration in the Customer Relationship Management

The previously defined complaint management is an element of customer relationship management of a company or organization. Customer Relationship Management “is a strategic orientation assuming that the customer prefers to have an ongoing relationship with one single organization rather than changing organizations. Based on this assumption and on the fact that it is less expensive to retain satisfied customers than to attract new ones, marketers focus on building and keeping groups of profitable, loyal customers by moving them into long-term, mutually beneficial relationships” (cf. Buhler & Nufer, 2010, p. 18).


Excerpt out of 40 pages


Dealing with complaining customers in sport clubs
Business and Information Technology School - The Entrepreneurial University Iserlohn
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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1474 KB
Beschwerdemanagement, Sport management, Sportmanagement, Complaint Management
Quote paper
Daniel Diener (Author), 2010, Dealing with complaining customers in sport clubs, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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