Individual differences in perceptions of service failure and recovery: the role of race and discriminatory bias
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This article investigates the role of contextual cues in the evaluation of a service failure. Empirical data demonstrates that although discrimination is a factor in the evaluation of a service failure for black (vs. white) customers, contextual cues also play a role in the evaluation of the encounter. When a black customer experiences a service failure, the failure will be evaluated more severely when no other black customers are present. In addition, the context of the event differentially affects the negative emotions generated by the service failure and results in racially driven differences in the amount of remuneration perceived as necessary to successfully recover from the failure. The implication is that when serving customers, the race of both the customer and other customers can provide service providers with information relative to the appropriate service recovery effort to implement.
KeywordsService failure Service recovery Discrimination Context effects
The authors gratefully acknowledge funding received for this research from the Mini-Grant program at Clemson University.
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