Quotation Weitzl, Wolfgang, Einwiller, Sabine. 2019. Profiling (un-)committed online complainants: Their characteristics and post-webcare reactions. Journal of Business Research.




After service failures, consumers increasingly turn to brand-created social media outlets to voice an online complaint and achieve their complaint goal. This research demonstrates that companies can benefit from segmenting online complainants according to their prior brand commitment and post-failure revenge desire to improve online complaint handling (webcare) effectiveness. Cluster analysis applied on multi-national survey data reveals that marketers have to deal with three main complainant types: (i) ‘Revengeful loyalists’ (committed, revengeful customers mainly driven by webcare-independent motives and immune to all forms of recovery attempts); (ii) ‘Constructive loyalists’ (committed, cooperative customers with a deep interest to restore the customer-brand relationship, but high recovery expectations); and (iii) ‘Constructive unattached customers’ (webcare-receptive customers having weak relational bonds, but no interest to cause harm). Besides profiling these segments, this research shows that webcare responses help to mitigate post-webcare negative word-of-mouth when they match the needs of complainants.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Business Research
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, INF-A, STRAT-B, VW-C, WH-B
Language English
Title Profiling (un-)committed online complainants: Their characteristics and post-webcare reactions
Year 2019
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.05.035
Open Access N


Weitzl, Wolfgang (Former researcher)
Einwiller, Sabine (University of Vienna, Austria)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5300 Economics (Details)
5308 Management sciences (Details)
5320 Marketing (Details)
5338 Science of advertising (Details)
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