Customer Rage Back-Story: Linking Needs-Based Cognitive Appraisal to Service Failure Type
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The back-story of customer rage, that is, what is behind a rage episode, specifically the customer's cognitive appraisal processes that trigger extreme negative emotions, and the customer's background (culture) is not well understood. This study involving 435 adult customers, investigates over two time periods (Episode 1: initial failure, and Episode 2: ineffective recovery), the association between the initial service failure type, subsequent ineffective service recovery attempts, and customers' cognitive appraisals. Our two country research clearly shows that service failure types are differentially associated with different forms of cognitive appraisals (i.e., perceived threats to resources, self-esteem, justice, control, and physical well-being), irrespective of the customer's home country. However, US and Thai customers appear to place different relative importance on cognitive appraisal types. Marketing managers can use this study to identify triggers of customer rage thus equipping them to implement strategies designed to mitigate this potentially harmful behavior.
Journal of Retailing
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)