The role of communication in facilitating resolution of dissatisfying consumer experiences

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Schwabrow, Lynsey A.
White, Michael J.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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This study of 79 male and 139 female university students investigated organizational recovery efforts following customer dissatisfaction. Rather than exploring recovery efforts that occur following a service failure, this study examined proactive versus reactive recovery efforts to determine implications for customer service. The purpose of this study was to determine ways in which to prevent a dissatisfying consumer experience from concluding as a complete service failure. This research extended the previous investigations of service recovery by Webster and Sundaram (1998) and Smith, Bolton, and Wagner (1999).A 4 x 3 factorial design employed four service recovery efforts and three service industries. Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty served as the primary dependent variables. Results supported the hypothesis that the use of communication before a dissatisfying service event concludes increases both customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. The results also provided evidence that customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are positively correlated. Combination recovery efforts and implications are discussed.