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Customer intentions to invoke service guarantees: does excellence in service recovery, type of guarantee, and cultural orientation matter?

Yves Van Vaerenbergh (UGent), Arne De Keyser (UGent) and Bart Larivière (UGent)
(2014) MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY. 24(1). p.45-62
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Organization
Abstract
Purpose - Many service providers feel confident about their service quality and thus offer service guarantees to their customers. Yet service failures are inevitable. As guarantees can only be invoked when customers report service failures, firms are given the opportunity to redress the original failure potentially influencing customer outcomes. This research provides the first empirical investigation of whether excellence in service recovery affects customers’ intentions to invoke a service guarantee, thereby discriminating between conditional and unconditional guarantees and testing for the impact of customers’ individualistic versus collectivistic cultural orientation. Design – One-hundred seventy-one respondents from four continents (spanning 23 countries) were recruited to participate in a quasi-experimental study in a hotel setting. A three-way analysis of variance was used to test the hypotheses. Results - All customers are very likely to invoke the service guarantee after an unsatisfactory service recovery. When customers are satisfied with the service recovery, they report lower invoke intentions, except for collectivistic individuals who are still inclined to invoke an unconditional service guarantee after a satisfactory service recovery. This finding supports an in-group/out-group rationale, whereby collectivists tend to behave more opportunistically towards out-groups than individualistic customers. Originality/Value - This study highlights the importance of excellence in service recovery, cultural differences and different types of service guarantees with respect to customers’ intentions to invoke the guarantee. We demonstrate how service guarantees should be designed in conjunction with service recovery strategies. Also, we show that an unconditional service guarantee creates the condition in which collectivists might engage in opportunistic behavior; global service providers concerned about opportunistic customer claiming behavior thus might benefit from using conditional service guarantees.
Keywords
SATISFACTION, PERFORMANCE, IMPACT, COLLECTIVISM, INDIVIDUALISM, IDENTITY, EMPLOYEE, FAILURE, COMPENSATION, CONSEQUENCES, Service recovery, Cultural orientation, Hospitality industry, Invoke intentions, Service guarantees

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Chicago
Van Vaerenbergh, Yves, Arne De Keyser, and Bart Larivière. 2014. “Customer Intentions to Invoke Service Guarantees: Does Excellence in Service Recovery, Type of Guarantee, and Cultural Orientation Matter?” Ed. Ranaweera Chatura and Sigala Marianna . Managing Service Quality 24 (1): 45–62.
APA
Van Vaerenbergh, Y., De Keyser, A., & Larivière, B. (2014). Customer intentions to invoke service guarantees: does excellence in service recovery, type of guarantee, and cultural orientation matter? (R. Chatura & S. Marianna , Eds.)MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY, 24(1), 45–62.
Vancouver
1.
Van Vaerenbergh Y, De Keyser A, Larivière B. Customer intentions to invoke service guarantees: does excellence in service recovery, type of guarantee, and cultural orientation matter? Chatura R, Marianna S, editors. MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY. Emerald; 2014;24(1):45–62.
MLA
Van Vaerenbergh, Yves, Arne De Keyser, and Bart Larivière. “Customer Intentions to Invoke Service Guarantees: Does Excellence in Service Recovery, Type of Guarantee, and Cultural Orientation Matter?” Ed. Ranaweera Chatura & Sigala Marianna . MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY 24.1 (2014): 45–62. Print.
@article{4126338,
  abstract     = {Purpose - Many service providers feel confident about their service quality and thus offer service guarantees to their customers. Yet service failures are inevitable. As guarantees can only be invoked when customers report service failures, firms are given the opportunity to redress the original failure potentially influencing customer outcomes. This research provides the first empirical investigation of whether excellence in service recovery affects customers{\textquoteright} intentions to invoke a service guarantee, thereby discriminating between conditional and unconditional guarantees and testing for the impact of customers{\textquoteright} individualistic versus collectivistic cultural orientation. Design -- One-hundred seventy-one respondents from four continents (spanning 23 countries) were recruited to participate in a quasi-experimental study in a hotel setting. A three-way analysis of variance was used to test the hypotheses. Results - All customers are very likely to invoke the service guarantee after an unsatisfactory service recovery. When customers are satisfied with the service recovery, they report lower invoke intentions, except for collectivistic individuals who are still inclined to invoke an unconditional service guarantee after a satisfactory service recovery. This finding supports an in-group/out-group rationale, whereby collectivists tend to behave more opportunistically towards out-groups than individualistic customers. Originality/Value - This study highlights the importance of excellence in service recovery, cultural differences and different types of service guarantees with respect to customers{\textquoteright} intentions to invoke the guarantee. We demonstrate how service guarantees should be designed in conjunction with service recovery strategies. Also, we show that an unconditional service guarantee creates the condition in which collectivists might engage in opportunistic behavior; global service providers concerned about opportunistic customer claiming behavior thus might benefit from using conditional service guarantees.},
  author       = {Van Vaerenbergh, Yves and De Keyser, Arne and Larivi{\`e}re, Bart},
  editor       = {Chatura , Ranaweera and Marianna , Sigala},
  issn         = {0960-4529},
  journal      = {MANAGING SERVICE QUALITY},
  keyword      = {SATISFACTION,PERFORMANCE,IMPACT,COLLECTIVISM,INDIVIDUALISM,IDENTITY,EMPLOYEE,FAILURE,COMPENSATION,CONSEQUENCES,Service recovery,Cultural orientation,Hospitality industry,Invoke intentions,Service guarantees},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {45--62},
  publisher    = {Emerald},
  title        = {Customer intentions to invoke service guarantees: does excellence in service recovery, type of guarantee, and cultural orientation matter?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MSQ-06-2013-0115},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2014},
}

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