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Where service recovery meets its paradox: implications for avoiding overcompensation

Where service recovery meets its paradox: implications for avoiding overcompensation The service recovery paradox (SRP) is the phenomenon that happens when customer satisfaction level post-service failure and recovery surpasses the customer satisfaction level achieved at error-free service. The aim of this study was to identify how large the size of compensation has to be at recovery for customer satisfaction to surpass that of error-free service (i.e. to identify a threshold value for SRP). The purpose of this is to inform managers how to restore customer satisfaction yet avoid overcompensation.Design/methodology/approachThe paper covers two studies. Study 1 used the novel approach of asking participants who had experienced a service failure in the hotel industry what amount of money (recovery) would make them more satisfied than in the case of error-free service. Study 2 then tested the compensation levels expressed by Study 1 participants to be sufficient for the service recovery paradox to occur.FindingsStudy 1 indicated that the threshold for the SRP was (on average) around 1,204 SEK, or just over 80% of the original room reservation price of 1,500 SEK (approx. $180). Study 2 found that (on average) the customer satisfaction of participants who received 1,204 SEK in compensation for service failure marked the point where it surpassed that of error-free service. Participants who received 633 SEK were less satisfied; participants who received 1,774 SEK were more satisfied.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings are context-specific. Future research should test the findings' generalizability.Practical implicationsThe approach used in this paper could provide managers with a tool to guide their service recovery efforts. The findings could help hotel managers to make strategic decisions to restore customer satisfaction yet avoid overcompensation, given a legitimate service failure in which the organization is at fault.Originality/valueNumerous previous studies have investigated the occurrence or absence of the SRP at predetermined compensation levels. This paper used a novel approach to find a quantitative threshold at which the magnitude of the recovery effort makes customer satisfaction surpass that of error-free service. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Service Theory and Practice Emerald Publishing

Where service recovery meets its paradox: implications for avoiding overcompensation

Where service recovery meets its paradox: implications for avoiding overcompensation

Journal of Service Theory and Practice , Volume 32 (7): 13 – Dec 19, 2022

Abstract

The service recovery paradox (SRP) is the phenomenon that happens when customer satisfaction level post-service failure and recovery surpasses the customer satisfaction level achieved at error-free service. The aim of this study was to identify how large the size of compensation has to be at recovery for customer satisfaction to surpass that of error-free service (i.e. to identify a threshold value for SRP). The purpose of this is to inform managers how to restore customer satisfaction yet avoid overcompensation.Design/methodology/approachThe paper covers two studies. Study 1 used the novel approach of asking participants who had experienced a service failure in the hotel industry what amount of money (recovery) would make them more satisfied than in the case of error-free service. Study 2 then tested the compensation levels expressed by Study 1 participants to be sufficient for the service recovery paradox to occur.FindingsStudy 1 indicated that the threshold for the SRP was (on average) around 1,204 SEK, or just over 80% of the original room reservation price of 1,500 SEK (approx. $180). Study 2 found that (on average) the customer satisfaction of participants who received 1,204 SEK in compensation for service failure marked the point where it surpassed that of error-free service. Participants who received 633 SEK were less satisfied; participants who received 1,774 SEK were more satisfied.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings are context-specific. Future research should test the findings' generalizability.Practical implicationsThe approach used in this paper could provide managers with a tool to guide their service recovery efforts. The findings could help hotel managers to make strategic decisions to restore customer satisfaction yet avoid overcompensation, given a legitimate service failure in which the organization is at fault.Originality/valueNumerous previous studies have investigated the occurrence or absence of the SRP at predetermined compensation levels. This paper used a novel approach to find a quantitative threshold at which the magnitude of the recovery effort makes customer satisfaction surpass that of error-free service.

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Andreas Edström, Beatrice Nylander, Jonas Molin, Zahra Ahmadi and Patrik Sörqvist
ISSN
2055-6225
DOI
10.1108/jstp-06-2021-0120
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The service recovery paradox (SRP) is the phenomenon that happens when customer satisfaction level post-service failure and recovery surpasses the customer satisfaction level achieved at error-free service. The aim of this study was to identify how large the size of compensation has to be at recovery for customer satisfaction to surpass that of error-free service (i.e. to identify a threshold value for SRP). The purpose of this is to inform managers how to restore customer satisfaction yet avoid overcompensation.Design/methodology/approachThe paper covers two studies. Study 1 used the novel approach of asking participants who had experienced a service failure in the hotel industry what amount of money (recovery) would make them more satisfied than in the case of error-free service. Study 2 then tested the compensation levels expressed by Study 1 participants to be sufficient for the service recovery paradox to occur.FindingsStudy 1 indicated that the threshold for the SRP was (on average) around 1,204 SEK, or just over 80% of the original room reservation price of 1,500 SEK (approx. $180). Study 2 found that (on average) the customer satisfaction of participants who received 1,204 SEK in compensation for service failure marked the point where it surpassed that of error-free service. Participants who received 633 SEK were less satisfied; participants who received 1,774 SEK were more satisfied.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings are context-specific. Future research should test the findings' generalizability.Practical implicationsThe approach used in this paper could provide managers with a tool to guide their service recovery efforts. The findings could help hotel managers to make strategic decisions to restore customer satisfaction yet avoid overcompensation, given a legitimate service failure in which the organization is at fault.Originality/valueNumerous previous studies have investigated the occurrence or absence of the SRP at predetermined compensation levels. This paper used a novel approach to find a quantitative threshold at which the magnitude of the recovery effort makes customer satisfaction surpass that of error-free service.

Journal

Journal of Service Theory and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 19, 2022

Keywords: Service recovery paradox; Compensation; Hotel industry; Customer satisfaction

References