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Assessing the additional impact of Process Recovery Communications on Customer Outcomes: A Comprehensive Service Recovery Approach

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    Purpose – Services recoveries following service failures not only imply customer recovery opportunities in which customer-company relationships can be restored, they can also result in process improvements (i.e. process recoveries in literature). This paper seeks to identify the additional impact of process recoveries on four customer outcome variables (satisfaction with service recovery, overall satisfaction, repurchase intent and word-of-mouth) by communicating these improvements back to the complaining customers. In addition, we test for outcome differences depending on the level of customer recovery a complaining customer received (no, unsatisfactory or satisfactory), and question whether the use of one-to-one versus one-to-many communication yields different effects. Design/methodology/approach – A 3 (no, unsatisfactory, and satisfactory customer recovery) x3 (no, one-to-one, and one-to-many process recovery communication) scenario-based experiment was set up to investigate our research goals. Findings - Our results indicate that communicating process recoveries to a complaining customer significantly increases satisfaction with service recovery, overall satisfaction, repurchase intent and positive word-of-mouth. We also find evidence for different effects depending on the level of customer recovery in combination with the type of communication being used. Originality/value – This is the first study to test the effectiveness of communicating process recoveries to complaining customers as part of a more comprehensive service recovery approach. Our findings clearly demonstrate the importance of communicating process recoveries back to customers; especially in situations where customer recovery was absent or perceived as unsatisfactory.

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    Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 09/583.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2009
    Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:09/583
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