The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between organizations’ responses to customer complaints and their effects on customer loyalty and trust. Four hypotheses were established for this study to help us gain a greater understanding of the dynamics of the responses to customer complaints and their relationship with trust and loyalty. Five independent variables (apology, timeliness, explanation, compensation, and dialogue/active listening) and two dependent variables (trust and brand loyalty) were used to test the hypotheses. An online survey was conducted through Qualtrics and data were collected from participants who were students at a Midwestern University. Facebook was also used to recruit participants and it generated responses from different countries including the United States, United Kingdom, India, Nigeria, and South Korea. A total of 179 respondents completed the online survey, however, only 101 responses were considered useful for the analysis. The results showed that there was a significant relationship between organizations’ response to customer complaints (through dialogue and active listening), and brand loyalty and trust. This indicates that an increase in dialogue and active listening will significantly strengthen the level of trust and loyalty. The findings will enlighten organizations to be more aware of how they respond to their customers’ complaints. Helping organizations know the benefits of effectively handling customer complaints can increase their productivity and profitability.


Deepa Oommen

Committee Member

Laura Jacobi

Committee Member

Amy Lauters

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Arts and Humanities



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In Copyright