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An exploration of relational customers` response to service failure

Hedrick, Natalie, Beverland, Michael and Minahan, Stella 2007, An exploration of relational customers` response to service failure, Journal of services marketing, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 64-72.

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Title An exploration of relational customers` response to service failure
Author(s) Hedrick, Natalie
Beverland, Michael
Minahan, Stella
Journal name Journal of services marketing
Volume number 21
Issue number 1
Start page 64
End page 72
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2007
ISSN 0887-6045
Keyword(s) Customer loyalty
Customer relations
Customer satisfaction
Interviews
Service failures
Summary Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how customers with different relational bonds respond to the same service failure. In particular, the framework to service failure and recovery devised by Fournier and Mick is applied.
Design/methodology/approach – To uncover rich emotional and cognitive responses to service failure, in-depth interviews with eight former and current patrons of an Australian opera were used.
Findings – Three types of relationship were identified: satisfaction-as-love (SaL), satisfaction-as-trust (SaT) and satisfaction-as-control (SaC). Each responded to the same failure in different ways. SaL customers had emotional bonds with the product category and thus reaffiremed their loyalty following the failure. SaT customers saw the service failure and inadequate recovery as a breach of the brand's implied promise and thus excited the relationship. SaC customers took charge of the situation, using their status to improve their situation and then defended the brand.
Practical implications – The findings indicate the importance of customizing service recovery strategies, in this case to those customers with the strongest emotional bonds to the brand, not the product class.
Originality/value – This is the first paper to examine how relational customers respond to service failure and identify how different customer-brand relationships result in different post-failure reactions and expectations of service recovery.
Language eng
Field of Research 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Emerald Group Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007017

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Management and Marketing
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.