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To most practitioners, effective marketing has invariably meant "looking after the customer". However, attention is being increasingly directed at the preposition in this expression. " Looking after the customer " is more than ever a matter of "looking to the customer afterwards". Customer aftercare can take many forms, from courtesy phone calls to special client get-togethers. It seems reasonable to suppose that each form may have a characteristic impact on customer satisfaction. This article examines one particular form of consumer aftercare, postpurchase written communications. It investigates whether letters sent by a PC retailer to a sample of recent purchases increased levels of customer satisfaction. In addition, two different message formats were used to see whether neutral " congratulatory" letters might have a different impact from letters that included an additional promotional element. The study finally sought to ascertain whether the increase/decrease in satisfaction caused by these letters accrued primarily to the retailer who sold the durable or to the brand of PC purchased.
Ward, R. Turley, D.: The effect of postpurchase communication on customer satisfaction. Irish Marketing Review, Vol. 9, 1996, pp. 69-78.