Customer satisfaction and complaint behaviour : the case of small custom-made clothing businesses

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Small and medium enterprises are increasingly considered as playing an important role in the economy of many countries, including South Africa. Unfortunately, home-based businesses in particular, such as most of the custom-made clothing businesses, are exhibiting high failure rates. The purpose of this study was to explore female customers’ satisfaction/ dissatisfaction with the quality of custom-made clothes, the accompanying emotions resulting from the dissatisfaction and their coping strategies in the form of complaint behaviour. A survey-based research design was followed. The sample consisted of 209 females older than 18 years, residing in Tshwane, South Africa, who had had custom-made clothes made by small urban-based custom-made clothing businesses during the previous 12 months. Customers in this study had high expectations for most performance features of the custom-made garments, especially the sensory and emotional performance features, with which they were ultimately not as satisfi ed as they had expected to be. Most of them blamed the business for the dissatisfaction. They did, however, not contact the business to complain but rather told others about the experience and decided no longer to support the business. They also experienced high levels of negative emotions such as disappointment, frustration and sadness. The results have implications for small custommade clothing businesses.