Customers who feel ‘powerless’ will disengage with that company

By our News Team | 2023

Study emphasises that people who feel a business is unresponsive to them will complain, disengage and create negative word-of-mouth.

Customers who feel powerless in their relationship with a company are likely to disengage from the company and experience negative effects on their overall wellbeing, suggests new research from the University of Surrey in the UK.

Researchers found that customers may remain engaged to businesses if they feel that their voices are being heard and they receive customer-centric service actions.

Customer Service

Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The study recommends that firms consider monitoring and engaging in ‘power management’ to better balance their relationship with customers and improve customers’ quality of life.

“We explored customer views and opinions about firms in the retail, hospitality and financial sectors – and our interviews showed that there are clear drivers of low customer power. Unsurprisingly, slow and impersonal customer service interactions [with] companies that are dominant within an industry – such as [UK private] train operators that control a particular route – were top of the list of low power drivers,” says Dr Liliane Abboud, lead author of the study and Lecturer in Marketing at Surrey Business School.

She adds: “Ignoring customer power would be a risky strategy for companies to employ, as we found that perceptions of low power led to customer complaints, disengagement and negative word-of-mouth.”

The researchers have therefore proposed a framework to help companies quickly identify low-power drivers and behaviours that could lead to customers disengaging directly or indirectly from a company.

Abboud and her team’s research, entitled ‘I can’t always get what I want: low power, service customer (dis)engagement and wellbeing’ has been published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Marketing.

You can find out more about the study here.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.