Matching service recovery solutions to customer recovery preferences

Doan T Nguyen, Janet R McColl-Kennedy, Tracey Sara Dagger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper aims to argue that, traditionally, service recovery attempts have paid little attention to customer preferences. Despite attempts to recover the customer, firms generally do not know if the recovery solution is what the customer expects. Hence, the paper seeks to examine whether customer recovery preferences influence customers evaluation of the recovery attempt in terms of recovery satisfaction and repurchase intentions. Design/methodology/approach - First, a two-stage qualitative study was conducted. Then the research model was tested empirically on a sample of 431 consumers using a multivariate analysis. Findings - The findings support the argument that customers have distinct recovery preferences. Moreover, customers are satisfied with the service recovery solution only when it matches the most demanding recovery preference. Customers recovery preferences have a significant impact on their satisfaction with recovery and their repurchase intentions. Research limitations/implications - First, the model developed is tested on a cross-sectional sample. Second, the measure of recovery satisfaction and repurchase intentions used here was relatively simple. Third, the study relies on repurchase intentions instead of actual behavioural data. Practical limitations/implications - This research indicates that customers have a preference for how service recovery should be undertaken. Given these distinct recovery preferences, different recovery solutions should be applied to address each preference appropriately. Originality/value - It is widely accepted in the service recovery literature that customers perceptions of a service recovery attempt are often different to those of the service provider. However, this research suggests that customer recovery preferences need to be carefully considered given their effect on customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171 - 1194
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this