Modeling the restaurant service-recovery process : the effects of relationship quality and customer characteristics on recovery efforts
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This study aims to investigate restaurant customers' attitudinal and behavioral responses, with a focus on relationship quality and customer characteristics in the service-recovery process. Sixteen scenario-based types of service-recovery strategies (i.e., 4 types of compensation x 2 types of apology x 2 conditions of empowerment) along with a given service failure (i.e., foreign items in food) were provided to 774 participants recruited from nationwide online panels. Structural equation models were also performed to examine the formation of customers' attitudinal and behavioral patterns and to ascertain differing responses according to customer characteristics. The results reveal that one-time compensation at the point of incident, cue-based apologies, and empowered servers are the most effective service-recovery strategies. It also appears that passive complainers perceived better distributive fairness and interactional fairness, while active complainers had higher intentions to recommend. Especially, the findings show the significant mediating role of relationship quality between recovery satisfaction and behavioral intentions, and the moderating role of tendency to complain in the overall process of the service recovery. These research findings are expected to provide practitioners with updated data that point to better managerial practices and more appropriate service-recovery strategies.
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