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Service recovery's impact on customers next-in-line

Yves Van Vaerenbergh (UGent) , Iris Vermeir (UGent) and Bart Larivière (UGent)
(2013) MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY. 23(6). p.495-512
Author
Organization
Abstract
Purpose - Previous research considers service recovery as a one-on-one interaction between a service provider and a complaining customer. However, customers frequently complain at the place where they receive the service, making an investigation of the impact of a service recovery on observing customers necessary. Using observational learning theory and attribution theory as theoretical anchors, this paper examines whether observing a service recovery influences the observing customers' satisfaction and repurchase intentions. In addition, this paper tests whether service quality perceptions mediate, and customers' locus of control attributions moderate these relationships. Design/methodology/approach - Study 1 tests the main hypothesis using a scenario-based experiment in two settings (restaurant, retail). Study 2 further elaborates on these findings using a scenario-based experiment in a hotel setting. Findings - The findings show that the negative consequences of a failed recovery extend beyond the complaining customers to observing customers, whereas the positive consequences of observing a satisfactory recovery do not influence the observing customer when compared to observing a failure-free service delivery. These relationships are driven by the service quality information customers extract from observing a service recovery. In addition, the results indicate that the negative spill-over effects are attenuated if the observing customer gets information about who caused the failure. Originality/value - From a theoretical point of view, this study contributes by outlining service recovery's different impacts on complaining and observing customers: whereas service recovery forms a critical for complaining customers, it only acts as a dissatisfier for observing customers. In addition, it is the first to test a potential explanation for why observing a service recovery leads to lower customer outcomes, and provides insights about how service providers might attenuate the negative spill-over effects of a failed recovery.
Keywords
REPURCHASE INTENTIONS, WORD-OF-MOUTH, PERCEIVED JUSTICE, ATTITUDE-CHANGE, SATISFACTION, EMPLOYEE, QUALITY, ENCOUNTERS, BEHAVIOR, COMPENSATION, Service failure, Service quality, Service recovery, Other customers, Observational learning

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Van Vaerenbergh, Yves, Iris Vermeir, and Bart Larivière. “Service Recovery’s Impact on Customers Next-in-line.” MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY 23.6 (2013): 495–512. Print.
APA
Van Vaerenbergh, Y., Vermeir, I., & Larivière, B. (2013). Service recovery’s impact on customers next-in-line. MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY, 23(6), 495–512.
Chicago author-date
Van Vaerenbergh, Yves, Iris Vermeir, and Bart Larivière. 2013. “Service Recovery’s Impact on Customers Next-in-line.” Managing Service Quality 23 (6): 495–512.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Vaerenbergh, Yves, Iris Vermeir, and Bart Larivière. 2013. “Service Recovery’s Impact on Customers Next-in-line.” Managing Service Quality 23 (6): 495–512.
Vancouver
1.
Van Vaerenbergh Y, Vermeir I, Larivière B. Service recovery’s impact on customers next-in-line. MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY. 2013;23(6):495–512.
IEEE
[1]
Y. Van Vaerenbergh, I. Vermeir, and B. Larivière, “Service recovery’s impact on customers next-in-line,” MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 495–512, 2013.
@article{4104739,
  abstract     = {Purpose - Previous research considers service recovery as a one-on-one interaction between a service provider and a complaining customer. However, customers frequently complain at the place where they receive the service, making an investigation of the impact of a service recovery on observing customers necessary. Using observational learning theory and attribution theory as theoretical anchors, this paper examines whether observing a service recovery influences the observing customers' satisfaction and repurchase intentions. In addition, this paper tests whether service quality perceptions mediate, and customers' locus of control attributions moderate these relationships.
Design/methodology/approach - Study 1 tests the main hypothesis using a scenario-based experiment in two settings (restaurant, retail). Study 2 further elaborates on these findings using a scenario-based experiment in a hotel setting.
Findings - The findings show that the negative consequences of a failed recovery extend beyond the complaining customers to observing customers, whereas the positive consequences of observing a satisfactory recovery do not influence the observing customer when compared to observing a failure-free service delivery. These relationships are driven by the service quality information customers extract from observing a service recovery. In addition, the results indicate that the negative spill-over effects are attenuated if the observing customer gets information about who caused the failure.
Originality/value - From a theoretical point of view, this study contributes by outlining service recovery's different impacts on complaining and observing customers: whereas service recovery forms a critical for complaining customers, it only acts as a dissatisfier for observing customers. In addition, it is the first to test a potential explanation for why observing a service recovery leads to lower customer outcomes, and provides insights about how service providers might attenuate the negative spill-over effects of a failed recovery.},
  author       = {Van Vaerenbergh, Yves and Vermeir, Iris and Larivière, Bart},
  issn         = {0960-4529},
  journal      = {MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY},
  keywords     = {REPURCHASE INTENTIONS,WORD-OF-MOUTH,PERCEIVED JUSTICE,ATTITUDE-CHANGE,SATISFACTION,EMPLOYEE,QUALITY,ENCOUNTERS,BEHAVIOR,COMPENSATION,Service failure,Service quality,Service recovery,Other customers,Observational learning},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {495--512},
  title        = {Service recovery's impact on customers next-in-line},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MSQ-03-2013-0037},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2013},
}

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