Providing an explanation for service failure: context, content, and customer responses
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This study investigated the role of explanations or accounts in mitigating the impact of service failure on customer satisfaction and loyalty in a hospitality context. The study used a between-groups experimental design with different scenarios, which were presented to a sample of experienced hotel customers via a postal survey. The scenarios differed in terms of the severity of the service failure, the type of explanation (referential or justification) and the thoroughness of the explanation. The results suggest that referential explanations were associated with higher levels of satisfaction and loyalty than justifications, when the service failure was severe. Evidence was also found that account adequacy was an important mediator for the effect of thoroughness on satisfaction.
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research
Copyright 2007 SAGE Publications. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.