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The impact of employee empathy on brand trust in organizational complaint response emails : a closer look at linguistic realization

Rebecca Van Herck (UGent) , Sofie Decock (UGent) , Bernard De Clerck (UGent) and Liselot Hudders (UGent)
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Abstract
This study investigates the effect of linguistic realizations of employee empathy (LREE) on brand trust in email responses to customer complaints. We explore possible mediating effects of perceived empathy and perceived complaint handling quality and we look into moderation effects of compensation (Study 1) or customer's acceptance of blame (Study 2). Our aim is to find out if LREE have a negative or positive impact on the customer in cases of partial refunds, either because LREE are being perceived as insincere or as genuine expressions of concern. The results of two experiments show that LREE positively influence brand trust through higher perceived empathy and perceived complaint handling quality. However, the expected negative effect is not found, as LREE are more effective in a low versus high compensation condition. The effectiveness itself is not influenced by the acceptance of blame when a partial refund is offered.
Keywords
employee empathy, service recovery, complaint handling, customer complaints, acceptance of blame, SERVICE RECOVERY, CONSUMER RESPONSES, COMPENSATION, FAILURES, ATTRIBUTION, APOLOGY, METAANALYSIS, BEHAVIOR, JUSTICE, TURK

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MLA
Van Herck, Rebecca, et al. “The Impact of Employee Empathy on Brand Trust in Organizational Complaint Response Emails : A Closer Look at Linguistic Realization.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION, 2021, doi:10.1177/23294884211032316.
APA
Van Herck, R., Decock, S., De Clerck, B., & Hudders, L. (2021). The impact of employee empathy on brand trust in organizational complaint response emails : a closer look at linguistic realization. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION. https://doi.org/10.1177/23294884211032316
Chicago author-date
Van Herck, Rebecca, Sofie Decock, Bernard De Clerck, and Liselot Hudders. 2021. “The Impact of Employee Empathy on Brand Trust in Organizational Complaint Response Emails : A Closer Look at Linguistic Realization.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION. https://doi.org/10.1177/23294884211032316.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Herck, Rebecca, Sofie Decock, Bernard De Clerck, and Liselot Hudders. 2021. “The Impact of Employee Empathy on Brand Trust in Organizational Complaint Response Emails : A Closer Look at Linguistic Realization.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION. doi:10.1177/23294884211032316.
Vancouver
1.
Van Herck R, Decock S, De Clerck B, Hudders L. The impact of employee empathy on brand trust in organizational complaint response emails : a closer look at linguistic realization. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION. 2021;
IEEE
[1]
R. Van Herck, S. Decock, B. De Clerck, and L. Hudders, “The impact of employee empathy on brand trust in organizational complaint response emails : a closer look at linguistic realization,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION, 2021.
@article{8716394,
  abstract     = {{This study investigates the effect of linguistic realizations of employee empathy (LREE) on brand trust in email responses to customer complaints. We explore possible mediating effects of perceived empathy and perceived complaint handling quality and we look into moderation effects of compensation (Study 1) or customer's acceptance of blame (Study 2). Our aim is to find out if LREE have a negative or positive impact on the customer in cases of partial refunds, either because LREE are being perceived as insincere or as genuine expressions of concern. The results of two experiments show that LREE positively influence brand trust through higher perceived empathy and perceived complaint handling quality. However, the expected negative effect is not found, as LREE are more effective in a low versus high compensation condition. The effectiveness itself is not influenced by the acceptance of blame when a partial refund is offered.}},
  articleno    = {{232948842110323}},
  author       = {{Van Herck, Rebecca and Decock, Sofie and De Clerck, Bernard and Hudders, Liselot}},
  issn         = {{2329-4884}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION}},
  keywords     = {{employee empathy,service recovery,complaint handling,customer complaints,acceptance of blame,SERVICE RECOVERY,CONSUMER RESPONSES,COMPENSATION,FAILURES,ATTRIBUTION,APOLOGY,METAANALYSIS,BEHAVIOR,JUSTICE,TURK}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  title        = {{The impact of employee empathy on brand trust in organizational complaint response emails : a closer look at linguistic realization}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/23294884211032316}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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