Case Study 4: Managing Customer Complaints: The Case of Imperial Orchid Hotels in Thailand

  • Jaywant SinghEmail author
  • Benedetta Crisafulli


This case study provides an overview of current practices in complaint-handling and service recovery management at hotel businesses operating in Thailand, a fast growing emerging economy. Specifically, the case depicts real-life customer experiences of service failure and recovery at Imperial Orchid Hotels, a well-reputed hotel group in Thailand (a fictitious name). The case includes a critical appraisal of the efficacy of the service recovery efforts provided by Imperial Orchid Hotels, in the light of empirical evidence in services research. The appraisal offers insights into how consumers evaluate different aspects of service recovery encounters, including compensation, the transparency and timeliness of recovery processes, and employee behaviour. Moreover, the case illustrates how cultural background of the customers influences the evaluation of service failure and recovery encounters.


Procedural Justice Distributive Justice Service Failure Service Recovery Compensation Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Chebat, J., & Slusarczyk, W. (2005). How emotions mediate the effects of perceived justice on loyalty in service recovery situations: An empirical study. Journal of Business Research, 58(5), 664–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Crisafulli, B., & Singh, J. (2016). Service guarantee as a recovery strategy: The impact of guarantee terms on perceived justice and firm motives. Journal of Service Management, 27(2), 117–143.Google Scholar
  3. del Río-Lanza, A. B., Vázquez-Casielles, R., & Díaz-Martín, A. M. (2009). Satisfaction with service recovery: Perceived justice and emotional responses. Journal of Business Research, 62(8), 775–781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Hui, M. K., & Au, K. (2001). Justice perceptions of complaint-handling. A cross-cultural comparison between PRC and Canadian customers. Journal of Business Research, 52(2), 161–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kalafatis, S., Singh, J., Crisafulli, B., & Dall’Olmo Riley, F. (2014). Customer perceptions of service recovery fairness: an empirical investigation in the Thai hotel sector. In Paradigm shifts & Interactions 2014, Proceedings of the 43rd European Marketing Academy Conference (EMAC), 3–6 June, Valencia, Spain.Google Scholar
  7. Karatepe, O. (2006). Customer complaints and organizational responses: The effects of complainants’ perceptions of justice on satisfaction and loyalty. Hospitality Management, 25(1), 69–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mattila, A. S. (2006). The power of explanations in mitigating the ill-effects of service failures. Journal of Services Marketing, 20(7), 422–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mattila, A. S., & Patterson, P. G. (2004). The impact of culture on consumers’ perceptions of service recovery efforts. Journal of Retailing, 80(3), 196–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. McCollough, M. A., Berry, L. L., & Yadav, M. S. (2000). An empirical investigation of customer satisfaction after service failure and recovery. Journal of Service Research, 3(2), 121–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mintel. (2014). Hotels. Retrieved from
  12. Shapiro, D. L., Buttner, E. H., & Barry, B. (1994). Explanations: What factors enhance their perceived adequacy? Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 58(3), 346–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Singh, J., & Crisafulli, B. (2015). Customer responses to service failure and recovery experiences. In S. Sahadev, K. Purani, & N. Malhotra (Eds.), Boundary spanning elements and the marketing function in organizations. Concepts and empirical studies (pp. 117–135). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. 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
  15. World Travel and Tourism Council. (2014a). Travel & Tourism. Economic impact 2014 World. Retrieved from
  16. World Travel and Tourism Council. (2014b). Travel & Tourism. Economic impact 2014 Thailand. Retrieved from
  17. World Travel and Tourism Council. (2015). The economic impact of travel and Tourism, 2015 Annual Update. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Strategy, Marketing and InnovationKingston UniversitySurreyUK
  2. 2.School of ManagementCranfield UniversityCranfieldUK

Personalised recommendations