Unpacking Customer Rage Elicitation: A Dynamic Model
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Unlike prior research that has confined customer rage to a single point in time, this article explores the unfolding of rage over three time periods, at the initial service failure (Episode 1) and two ineffective service recovery attempts (Episodes 2 and 3). In each episode, we examine the association between loss, or a threat of loss, of personal resources (e.g., self-esteem, sense of justice, sense of control, and economic resources such as time and money) and negative emotions. We empirically demonstrate for the first time that although rage may sometimes take place at the initial service failure (Episode 1), rage does not tend to be an immediate reaction. Rather, it is when service failures remain unresolved that residual negative emotions are carried forward into the next episode, so that rage is dominant in Episodes 2 and 3. This carryover of negative emotion spirals with more resources being threatened, propelling the customer into rage. The authors offer a methodological contribution demonstrating the dynamic nature of appraisals and emotions in a sequence of related episodes in the elicitation of rage. Finally, differences between U.S. and Thai responses are discussed with important theoretical and managerial implications.
Journal of Service Research
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)