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Proactivity in Service Failure and Service Recovery
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0582-3324
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although service failure and service recovery have been extensively researched, service employees struggle to recover an increasing number of customer complaints. The overall aim of this thesis is to explain the role of customer and employee proactivity in service failure and service recovery. Through a series of studies, this thesis examines how employee and customer proactivity influence customer responses after a service failure and in service recovery. In doing so, this thesis contributes to the service recovery literature in two ways.

First, by reconceptualizing service failure to include failures not necessarily linked to the core-service offering, this research contributes to the theory formation stressing the importance of seemingly “small details”. Doing so makes it possible to examine how seemingly minor interpersonal interaction can influence customer responses in the service environment and provide managers with a set of tools to manage failures of such seemingly minor interpersonal interaction. Introducing employee proactivity as a recovery tactic, this thesis demonstrates that when an employee shows a high level of proactivity during a service encounter, they can reduce the adverse effects that stem from the absence of expected interpersonal “small details” from earlier in the service encounter. As such, potentially serve to address a portion of the “silent mass” of customers who choose to stay silent.

Second, findings contrast lay belief that customers prefer the service providers to deal with service failures while they sit back and relax. Introducing service recovery collaboration as a potential service recovery response made it possible to document the benefits of including the customer as a proactive collaborator in the service recovery. Findings reveal that proactive customer behaviors in service recovery are particularly critical for customers with established relationships and in situations where compensation is the primary means of recovery.

Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explain the role of customer and employee proactivity in service failure and service recovery. Through a series of studies, this thesis examines how employee and customer proactivity influence customer responses after a service failure and in service recovery. In doing so, this thesis contributes to the service recovery literature in two ways. First, by reconceptualizing service failure, this research supports the theory formation stressing the importance of seemingly “small details”. However, by introducing employee proactivity as a recovery tactic, this thesis demonstrates how employee proactivity can reduce the adverse effects which stem from the absence of expected interpersonal “small details” which can potentially serve to address a portion of the “silent mass” of customers who choose to stay silent. Second, findings contrast lay belief that customers prefer the service providers to deal with service failures while they sit back and relax. In fact, this thesis documents the benefits of including the customer as a proactive collaborator in the service recovery. Findings reveal that customer inclusion is particularly critical for customers with established relationships and in situations where compensation is the primary means of recovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2021. , p. 90
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2021:25
Keywords [en]
service failure, service recovery, complaint management, customer proactivity, employee proactivity, collaboration, customer responses
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85983ISBN: 978-91-7867-230-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-241-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-85983DiVA, id: diva2:1595412
Public defence
2021-10-29, 11D227, Erlandersalen; Zoom, Karlstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Article 4 part of thesis as manuscript, now published.

Available from: 2021-10-07 Created: 2021-09-19 Last updated: 2022-11-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. 30 seconds of fame: The effect of first impression on customer affect, attitudes, and approach behaviors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>30 seconds of fame: The effect of first impression on customer affect, attitudes, and approach behaviors
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85980 (URN)
Available from: 2021-09-19 Created: 2021-09-19 Last updated: 2022-11-25Bibliographically approved
2. Going the Extra Mile, Now or After a While: The Impact of Employee Proactivity in Retail Service Encounters on Customers’ Shopping Responses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Going the Extra Mile, Now or After a While: The Impact of Employee Proactivity in Retail Service Encounters on Customers’ Shopping Responses
Show others...
2023 (English)In: British Journal of Management, ISSN 1045-3172, E-ISSN 1467-8551Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Employee proactivity has been discussed as a key predictor of firm success and organi-zational performance. However, previous proactivity research has rarely focused on cus-tomers, and the few available proactivity studies from retail settings are either cross-sectional, solely based on subjective outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction) or restricted toaggregateddata of objective outcomes (e.g. profits per store). We investigate the causaleffect of employee proactivity in retail service encounters on customers’ actual purchasebehaviour and satisfaction ratings at the fine-grained level ofindividualcustomers. Byintegrating theories on social perception with prior proactivity findings, we find that em-ployee proactivity positively predicts customers’ shopping responses. This finding extendsfrom correlational to experimental designs across sample types and paradigms, is repli-cated in actual retail settings, and is mediated by customers’ perceptions of employeewarmth and competence. Furthermore, the effect generalizes across several focal out-comes, including behavioural variables (spending and purchase likelihood), and is moder-ated by the time to employee-initiated contact in a way that goes against customers’ ownbeliefs. In sum, the present research quantifies the financial consequences of employeeproactivity and indicates that in ordinary retail service encounters, high proactivity cancompensate for delays, thus counteracting the aversive aspects of waiting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85981 (URN)10.1111/1467-8551.12765 (DOI)2-s2.0-85173544406 (Scopus ID)
Note

This paper was included as a manuscript entitled "Going the Extra Mile, Now or After a While: The Impact of Employee Proactivity on Customers’ Responses and the Moderating Role of Time to Contact" in the doctoral thesis "Proactivity in Service Failure and Service Recovery" KUS 2021:25.

Available from: 2021-09-19 Created: 2021-09-19 Last updated: 2023-12-11Bibliographically approved
3. Justice (is not the same) for all: The role of relationship activity for post-recovery outcomes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Justice (is not the same) for all: The role of relationship activity for post-recovery outcomes
Show others...
2021 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 134, p. 342-351Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the widespread adoption of the justice framework in service recovery literature, research findings vary as to what dimension - distributive, interactional, procedural - is most important. This paper contributes to this debate by considering how an easily accessible variable like relationship activity (i.e., the frequency of visiting and purchasing from a company) moderates the impact of the justice dimensions on post-recovery customer outcomes. Findings show that distributive justice is the only dimension impacting word-of-mouth (WOM) and repurchase behavior for low- and medium-relationship-activity customer segments. For a high-relationship-activity segment, all justice dimensions have a positive and balanced impact on WOM and/or repurchase behavior. This research demonstrates the potential of a segmented approach for recovery, while also providing managers with valuable insights into how they can use readily available information to adapt their service recovery efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021
Keywords
Justice theory, Latent class cluster analysis, PLS predict, Relationship activity, Service recovery
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85354 (URN)10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.05.031 (DOI)000677680300001 ()2-s2.0-85107695296 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-07-02 Created: 2021-07-02 Last updated: 2022-11-09Bibliographically approved
4. Money for nothing?: The impact of compensation on customer bad-mouthing behavior in service recovery encounters
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Money for nothing?: The impact of compensation on customer bad-mouthing behavior in service recovery encounters
2023 (English)In: Marketing letters, ISSN 0923-0645, E-ISSN 1573-059X, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 69-82Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As one of the retailer’s most potent recovery tactics to offset disgruntled customers, firms invest heavily in compensation to increase customer satisfaction and improve loyalty. However, the effectiveness of this tactic remains unclear. This study examines whether firm-offered compensation affects customers’ emotional responses and bad-mouthing behavior (i.e., telling others about a particular problem). Importantly, the study investigates whether the level of collaboration during the recovery encounter moderates the link between compensation and customers’ emotional responses, and whether collaborative efforts influence the effectiveness of compensation. The findings indicate that collaboration during the recovery encounter is necessary if compensation is to mitigate negative emotional responses, with downstream effects on bad-mouthing behavior. In confirming the importance of collaboration during recovery encounters, the findings have critical managerial and financial implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2023
Keywords
Bad-Mouthing Behavior; Collaboration; Compensation; Complaint Management; Service Failure; Service Recovery
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-85982 (URN)10.1007/s11002-021-09611-6 (DOI)000745553000001 ()2-s2.0-85123500882 (Scopus ID)
Note

Article part of Arsenovic's doctoral thesis (2021) Proactivity in Service Failure and Service Recovery as manuscript.

Available from: 2021-09-19 Created: 2021-09-19 Last updated: 2023-04-13Bibliographically approved
5. Moving Toward Collaborative Service Recovery: A Multiactor Orientation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moving Toward Collaborative Service Recovery: A Multiactor Orientation
2019 (English)In: Service Science, ISSN 2164-3962, E-ISSN 2164-3970, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 201-212Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Service recovery research has traditionally been firm-centric, focusing primarily on the time and effort expended by firms in addressing service failures. The subsequent shift to a customer-centric orientation addressed the customer's role in recovery situations, and the recent dyadic orientation has explored the effectiveness of their joint efforts. However, earlier conceptualizations failed to take adequate account of the complexity of service recovery encounters in which multiple actors collaborate and integrate resources. This study explores how multiactor collaborations influence the customer's experience of service recovery by adopting a multiactor orientation and by applying service-dominant logic. After reviewing the customer experience literature, a collaborative recovery experience framework is developed that emphasizes the joint efforts of multiple actors and customers to achieve a favorable recovery experience. In a contextualization, the usefulness of the new framework to explain customer experiences in collaborative service processes is shown. Finally, further research avenues are proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CATONSVILLE, MD: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), 2019
Keywords
customer experience, service recovery, customer collaboration, corecovery, service failure
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75929 (URN)10.1287/serv.2019.0241 (DOI)000492697800005 ()
Conference
Cambridge-Service-Alliance Service Week Conference, 2017, Univ Cambridge, Inst Mfg, Cambridge Serv Alliance, Cambridge, ENGLAND
Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2021-09-19Bibliographically approved

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