Can service firms overdo service recovery? An assessment of non-linearity in service recovery satisfaction
CITATION: Boshoff, C. 2012. Can service firms overdo service recovery? An assessment of non-linearity in service recovery satisfaction. South African Journal of Business Management, 43(3):a470, doi:10.4102/sajbm.v43i3.470.
The original publication is available at https://sajbm.org
Owing to the human nature of service delivery service failures occasionally occur. Persistently poor service delivery will, however, have a harmful impact on the survival and growth prospects of service firms. Service failure thus calls for remedial action, better known as service recovery. A variety of remedies have been proposed over the years. These remedies or tactics include fixing the problem, apologising, compensation (financial compensation or other forms of redress), a timely response and offering an explanation. A general theme in the service recovery literature is that ‘more is better’. The validity of this contention has, however, not been adequately considered. In other words, in a service recovery context, is more always better? Can service recovery be over-done (known as ‘over-benefitting’)? If so, what are the consequences? Based on the results of two field-type experimental studies involving a sample of 12 800 respondents the conclusion is that over-benefitting can be counter-productive. Over-benefitting consistently produced satisfaction scores lower than service recovery that was more moderate in nature.