When services fail, over half of the recovery attempts lead to double deviations (i.e. failed service recoveries) (Bitner et al. 1990). Double deviations lead to anger, but it is less clear whether consumers’ anger is mainly due to the initial failure or the failed recovery because research on double deviations remains limited (Basso and Pizzutti 2016). Studies that simultaneously consider the effects of failure severity, involvement, and recovery timing on anger do not exist. Research on the severity of double deviations (e.g., Casado et al. 2011) does not always distinguish between the severity of the initial failure and the severity of the failed recovery although consumer reactions might differ depending on varying sequences of less (more) severe initial failures and more (less) severe failed recoveries. Moreover, previous research does not clearly answer the question of which effects an immediate (vs. delayed) compensation has in terms of reducing anger. As differences in consumer service involvement can determine consumer reactions to double deviations, it is important to also include involvement here. In our study, we analyse anger after experiencing a sequence of a less (more) severe initial failure and a more (less) severe failed recovery by considering consumer involvement and the timing of the service provider’s final reaction.
The sample consisted of 497 respondents. We used a 2 (less severe initial failure, more severe failed recovery vs. more severe initial failure, less severe failed recovery) × 2 (involvement: moderate vs. high) × 2 (recovery timing: immediate vs. 6 days delayed) between-subjects design. We presented the respondents with scenarios (stay at a Spa Hotel) to implement the manipulations.
The results confirm that highly involved consumers show less anger when presented with an immediate recovery, independently of the failure severity combination. For moderately involved consumers, an immediate recovery better reduces anger if a more severe failure is followed by a less severe failed recovery. When a less severe failure is followed by a more severe recovery failure, the recovery timing has no effect on anger. Thus, service providers should encourage immediate recoveries after double deviations, especially for highly involved consumers and moderately involved consumers who experience more severe initial failures. Consumer anger after double deviations can be reduced if frontline employees have sufficient flexibility to handle such situations immediately. Only if less involved consumers experience double deviations with less severe initial failures, immediate vs. delayed compensation has no differential effect on anger.
- Double deviation
- Consumer anger
- Failure severity
- Recovery timing
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Bambauer-Sachse, S., Renaud-dit-Louis, Y., Young, A. (2022). Consumer Anger After Double Deviation: The Role of Failure Severity, Service Involvement, and Recovery Timing: An Abstract. In: Pantoja, F., Wu, S. (eds) From Micro to Macro: Dealing with Uncertainties in the Global Marketplace. AMSAC 2020. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-89883-0_10
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-89882-3
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-89883-0