Advertisement

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 1052–1071 | Cite as

How can firms stop customer revenge? The effects of direct and indirect revenge on post-complaint responses

  • Yany GrégoireEmail author
  • Fateme Ghadami
  • Sandra Laporte
  • Sylvain Sénécal
  • Denis Larocque
Original Empirical Research

Abstract

Do customers feel better or worse after enacting revenge? Using a multimethod approach, we show that customers’ post-complaint desire for revenge depends on whether they initially use direct or indirect revenge behaviors (RBs). Specifically, the current research makes three contributions. First, we find that the more customers use direct RBs, the more pronounced is the decrease in their post desire for revenge over time, whereas a strong engagement in indirect RBs is associated with higher post desire for revenge over time. A series of experiments also indicate that direct RBs lead to less post desire for revenge and more positive affect, compared to the indirect RBs condition. Second, we document the process underlying each effect. The beneficial effect of direct RBs is explained by justice restoration, while the deleterious effect of indirect RBs is mainly explained by public exposure. Third, on the basis of our findings, we test different managerial tactics to reduce avengers’ post desire for revenge. For direct avengers, recoveries with full or overcompensation substantially reduce their negative responses because these customers are primarily driven by justice restoration. For indirect avengers, our prescription involves taking initiatives to change their focus from public exposure to justice restoration by using proactive social media tools. This switch makes these latter customers more amenable to most recoveries, even poor ones.

Keywords

Customer revenge Public exposure Justice theory Negative affect Brand transgression Service failure Service recovery Post-complaint responses 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research was funded by Chair Omer DeSerres of Retailing, RBC Financial Group Chair of E-commerce, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).

Supplementary material

11747_2018_597_MOESM1_ESM.docx (36 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 36.3 kb)
11747_2018_597_MOESM2_ESM.docx (29 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 28.7 kb)
11747_2018_597_MOESM3_ESM.docx (105 kb)
ESM 3 (DOCX 105 kb)
11747_2018_597_MOESM4_ESM.docx (956 kb)
ESM 4 (DOCX 955 kb)
11747_2018_597_MOESM5_ESM.docx (106 kb)
ESM 5 (DOCX 105 kb)
11747_2018_597_MOESM6_ESM.docx (80 kb)
ESM 6 (DOCX 79.6 kb)

References

  1. Ambrose, M., & Schminke, M. (2009). The role of overall justice judgments in organizational justice research: A test of mediation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 491–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aquino, K., Tripp, T. M., & Bies, R. J. (2001). How employees respond to personal offense: The effects of blame attribution, victim status, and offender status on revenge and reconciliation in the workplace. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 52–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barclay, L. J., Skarlicki, D. P., & Pugh, S. D. (2005). Exploring the role of emotions in injustice perceptions and retaliation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(4), 629–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baron, R. A., & Neuman, J. H. (1996). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence on their relative frequency and potential causes. Aggressive Behavior, 22(3), 161–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bateson, J. E. G., & Hui, M. K. (1992). The ecological validity of photographic slides and videotapes in simulating the service setting. Journal of Consumer Research, 19(2), 271–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bechwati, N. N., & Morrin, M. (2003). Outraged consumers: Getting even at the expense of getting a good deal. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13(4), 440–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bechwati, N. N., & Morrin, M. (2007). Understanding voter vengeance. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17(4), 277–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bohart, A. C. (1980). Toward a cognitive theory of catharsis. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 17(2), 192–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bushman, B. J. (2002). Does venting anger feed or extinguish the flame? Catharsis, rumination, distraction, anger, and aggressive responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(6), 724–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bushman, B. J., Baumeister, R. F., & Phillips, C. M. (2001). Do people aggress to improve their mood? Catharsis beliefs, affect regulation opportunity, and aggressive responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 17–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Buss, A. H. (1961). The psychology of aggression. New York: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carlsmith, K. M., Wilson, T., & Gilbert, D. (2008). The paradoxical consequences of revenge. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(6), 1316–1324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chagnon, N. A. (1988). Life histories, blood revenge, and warfare in a tribal population. Science, 239(4843), 985–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Challagalla, G., Venkatesh, R., & Kohli, A. K. (2009). Proactive postsales service: When and why does it pay off? Journal of Marketing, 73(2), 70–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Collins, K., & Bell, R. (1997). Personality and aggression: The dissipation-rumination scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 22(5), 751–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davidow, M. (2003). Organizational responses to customer complaints: What works and what doesn’t. Journal of Service Research, 5(3), 225–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. de Quervain, D. J.-F., Fischbacher, U., Treyer, V., Schellhammer, M., Schnyder, U., Buck, A., & Fehr, E. (2004). The neural basis of altruistic punishment. Science, 305(5688), 1254–1258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeWitt, T., Nguyen, D. T., & Marshall, R. (2008). Exploring customer loyalty following service recovery: The mediating effects of trust and emotions. Journal of Service Research, 10(3), 269–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Diggle, P., Heagerty, P., Liang, K.-Y., & Zeger, S. (2002). Analysis of longitudinal data (Second ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Dimitrov, D. M., & Rumrill, P. D. (2003). Pretest-posttest designs and measurement of change. Work, 20(2), 159–165.Google Scholar
  21. Douglas, S. C., & Martinko, M. J. (2001). Exploring the role of individual differences in the prediction of workplace aggression. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(4), 547–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gelbrich, K. (2010). Anger, frustration, and helplessness after service failure: Coping strategies and effective informational support. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 38(5), 567–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gelbrich, K., & Roschk, H. (2011). A meta-analysis of organizational complaint handling and customer responses. Journal of Service Research, 14(1), 24–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gollwitzer, M., & Denzler, M. (2009). What makes revenge sweet: Seeing the offender suffer or delivering a message? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 840–844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gollwitzer, M., Meder, M., & Schmitt, M. (2011). What gives victims satisfaction when they seek revenge? European Journal of Social Psychology, 41(3), 364–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grant, R. (2013). 85% of consumers will retaliate against a company with bad customer service (report). VentureBeat. https://venturebeat.com/2013/11/14/85-of-consumers-will-retaliate-against-a-company-with-bad-customer-service-report/. Accessed 20 July 2017.
  27. Grégoire, Y., & Fisher, R. J. (2008). Customer betrayal and retaliation: When your best customers become your worst enemies. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36(2), 247–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grégoire, Y., Tripp, T. M., & Legoux, R. (2009). When customer love turns into lasting hate: The effects of relationship strength and time on customer revenge and avoidance. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 18–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Grégoire, Y., Laufer, D., & Tripp, T. M. (2010). A comprehensive model of customer direct and indirect revenge: Understanding the effects of perceived greed and customer power. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 38(6), 738–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hamilton, R. (2016). Consumer-based strategy: Using multiple methods to generate consumer insights that inform strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44(3), 281–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hammock, G., Rosen, S., Richardson, D., & Bernstein, S. (1989). Aggression as equity restoration. Journal of Research in Personality, 23(4), 398–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Harmeling, C., Palmatier, R., Houston, M. B., Arnold, M. J., & Samaha, S. (2015). Transformational relationship events. Journal of Marketing, 79(5), 39–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  34. Hogreve, J., Bilstein, N., & Mandl, L. (2017). Unveiling the recovery time zone of tolerance: When time matters in service recovery. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(6), 866–883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Houston, M. B. (2016). Is “strategy” a dirty word? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44(5), 557–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Huefner, J. C., & Hunt, H. K. (2000). Consumer retaliation as response to dissatisfaction. Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and Complaining Behavior, 13, 61–82.Google Scholar
  37. Joireman, J., Grégoire, Y., & Tripp, T. M. (2016). Customer forgiveness following service failures. Current Opinion in Psychology, 10, 76–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kähr, A., Nyffenegger, B., Krohmer, H., & Hoyer, W. D. (2016). When hostile consumers wreak havoc on your brand: The phenomenon of consumer brand sabotage. Journal of Marketing, 80(3), 25–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Knutson, B. (2004). Behavior: Sweet revenge? Science, 305(5688), 1246–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Komarova, L. Y., Haws, K. L., & Bearden, W. O. (2018). Businesses beware: Consumer immoral retaliation in response to perceived moral violations by companies. Journal of Service Research, 21(2), 184–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Landon, E. L. (1980). The direction of consumer complaint research. Advances in Consumer Research, 7, 335–338.Google Scholar
  42. Liao, H. (2007). Do it right this time: The role of employee service recovery performance in customer-perceived justice and customer loyalty after service failures. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 475–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lin, L., Dahl, D. W., & Argo, J. J. (2013). Do the crime, always do the time? Insights into consumer-to-consumer punishment. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(1), 64–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. López-López, I., Ruiz-de-Maya, S., & Warlop, L. (2014). When sharing consumption emotions with strangers is more satisfying than sharing them with friends. Journal of Service Research, 17(4), 475–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Maxham, J. G., & Netemeyer, R. G. (2002). A longitudinal study of complaining customers’ evaluations of multiple service failures and recovery efforts. Journal of Marketing, 66(4), 57–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McColl-Kennedy, J. R., Patterson, P. G., Smith, A. K., & Brady, M. K. (2009). Customer rage episodes: Emotions, expressions and behaviors. Journal of Retailing, 85(2), 222–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McCullough, M. E., Fincham, F. D., & Tsang, J. (2003). Forgiveness, forbearance, and time: The temporal unfolding of transgression-related interpersonal motivations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(3), 540–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McCullough, M. E., Bono, G., & Root, L. (2007). Rumination, emotion, and forgiveness: Three longitudinal studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(3), 490–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ortony, A., Clore, G. L., & Collins, A. (1990). The cognitive structure of emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Roschk, H., & Kaiser, S. (2013). The nature of an apology: An experimental study on how to apologize after a service failure. Marketing Letters, 24(3), 293–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shen, L. (2017). United airlines stick drops $1.4 billion after passenger-removal controversy. Fortune. http://fortune.com/2017/04/11/united-airlines-stock-drop/. Accessed 11 April 2017.
  52. Singer, J. D. (1998). Using SAS PROC MIXED to fit multilevel models, hierarchical models, and individual growth models. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 23(4), 323–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Singh, J. (1988). Consumer complaint intentions and behavior: Definitional and taxonomical issues. Journal of Marketing, 52(1), 93–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith, A. K., Bolton, R. N., & Wagner, J. (1999). A model of customer satisfaction with service encounters involving failure and recovery. Journal of Marketing Research, 36(3), 356–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stillwell, A. M., Baumeister, R. F., & Del Priore, R. E. (2008). We’re all victims here: Toward a psychology of revenge. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 30(3), 253–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Surachartkumtonkun, J., Patterson, P. G., & McColl-Kennedy, J. R. (2013). Customer rage back-story: Linking needs-based cognitive appraisal to service failure type. Journal of Retailing, 89(1), 72–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tax, S. S., Brown, S. W., & Chandrashekaran, M. (1998). Customer evaluations of service complaint experiences: Implications for relationship marketing. The Journal of Marketing, 62(2), 60–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. van Dijk, W. W., van Koningsbruggen, G. M., Ouwerkerk, J. W., & Wesseling, Y. M. (2011). Self-esteem, self-affirmation, and schadenfreude. Emotion, 11(6), 1445–1449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Walster, E., Berscheid, E., & Walster, G. W. (1973). New directions in equity research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 25(2), 151–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ward, J. C., & Ostrom, A. L. (2006). Complaining to the masses: The role of protest framing in customer-created complaint web sites. Journal of Consumer Research, 33(2), 220–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063–1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yoshimura, S. (2007). Goals and emotional outcomes of revenge activities in interpersonal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(1), 87–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zeelenberg, M. (1999). The use of crying over spilled milk: A note on the rationality and functionality of regret. Philosophical Psychology, 12(3), 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HEC MontréalMontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations