An experimental investigation of customer reactions to service failure and recovery encounters: Paradox or peril?

Amy K. Smith, Ruth N. Bolton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

455 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study develops a model that addresses the following: (a) How does a customer's satisfaction with a service failure and recovery encounter affect cumulative satisfaction judgments and repatronage intentions? (b) To what extent do a customer's prior assessments of overall satisfaction and repatronage intentions formed before the service failure and recovery encounter carry over to influence subsequent overall satisfaction and repatronage intentions? (c) Can a highly satisfying service failure and recovery encounter enhance a customer's overall satisfaction with a service organization and increase repatronage intentions? The model is operationalized with data from two experiments conducted in different service settings in which actual customers "experienced" a hypothetical service failure and recovery encounter at an organization they had recently patronized. The results suggest that although excellent service recoveries can enhance customer satisfaction and increase repatronage intentions, viewing service failures as opportunities to impress customers with good service performance may involve substantial risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Service Research
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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