Consumers’ Responses to Service Failures and Recoveries
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.
KeywordsEmotional responses Apology Compensation Service failure
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