Consumers’ Responses to Service Failures and Recoveries

  • Julie A. EdellEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10371)


This paper presents the results of a study examining the nature of consumers’ emotional reactions following a significant service failure. In addition to measuring consumers’ feelings about the outcome that occurred (including the remedy), the emotional response to the service provider and the emotional response about the decision makers own choice to use that provider were captured separately. Consumers regretted their decision to use a provider if the provider only offers them compensation and not an apology when there was a delay in the service. Negative emotions focused toward the self and toward the provider played significant roles in the continuation intentions of the consumers. Offering a small amount of compensation ($10) for a delay with an apology was as effective as offering a large amount of compensation ($350) without an apology. An apology was significantly related to all of the feelings and to the continuation behavior. The level of compensation, however, was only related to greater satisfaction and continuation intentions. The mediating role of these emotional responses on satisfaction and continuation intentions showed that the emotions experienced were important mediators of satisfaction with the handling of the failure and with continuation intentions.


Emotional responses Apology Compensation Service failure 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Levesque, T.J., McDougall, G.H.G.: Service problems and recovery strategies: an experiment. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 17(1), 20–37 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mattila, A.S.: The impact of relationship type on customer loyalty in a context of service failures. Journal of Service Research 4(2), 91–101 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wirtz, J., Mattila, A.S.: Consumer responses to compensation, speed of recovery and apology after a service failure. Journal of Service Industry Management 15(2), 150–166 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Darida, T., Levesque, T., McDougall, G.: Service problems and recovery strategies: an exploratory investigation in the hospitality sector. In: Berneman, C. (ed.) Proceedings of the Administrative Sciences Association Conference 1997, pp. 101–110. Administrative Sciences Association, Montreal (1996)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Smith, A.K., Bolton, R.N., Wagner, J.: A model of customer satisfaction with service encounters involving failure and recovery. Journal of Marketing Research 36, 356–372 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Webster, E., Sundaram, D.S.: Service consumption criticality in failure recovery. Journal of Business Research 41, 153–159 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hayes, A.F.: Introduction to mediation, moderation and conditional process analysis: a regression-based approach. Guilford Press, New York (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fuqua School of BusinessDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations