Can Service Recovery Help When Service Failures Occur?

By Lockwood, Andrew; Deng, Ni | Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, August 2004 | Go to article overview

Can Service Recovery Help When Service Failures Occur?


Lockwood, Andrew, Deng, Ni, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management


This article reports on research conducted using the Critical Incident Technique to explore the nature of service failure and associated service recovery strategies used in hotels. Using a questionnaire-based approach, data were collected in hotels in both the UK and China; in total some 79 separate incidents were collected. Using a classificatory schema derived both from previous research and the incidents collected in this study, it has been possible to explore the relationships between service failure and service recovery. The findings show that hotels need to clarify their policies and procedures with regard to service recovery if they are going to be successful in turning the dissatisfaction deriving from a service failure into the possibility of customer retention. Even with clear recovery strategies, the research suggests that only half of customers experiencing a service failure of any type will return to the same hotel.

**********

With increasing competition at all levels of the hospitality industry, managers are increasingly aware of the importance of keeping existing customers as well as winning new ones. Despite efforts to deliver consistent service to their customers, due to the nature of service operations it would appear that breakdowns in the delivery of service or service failures (Spreng, Harrell, & Mackoy, 1995) are inevitable (Hart, Heskett, & Sasser, 1990).

While service failures may be inevitable, losing customers following these failures is not. Service recovery actions can be taken that may repair all or some of the damage done. The customer's final perception of the quality of the service provider will be affected by the number and seriousness of the problems they encounter and how these problems are handled by the operation (Colgate & Norris, 2001). Indeed there are some claims that customers may rate the encounter more favourably after a failure has been corrected than if the transaction had been correctly performed the first time (Kelley & Davis, 1994).

On the other hand, service failures that are not properly recovered can result in a decline in customer confidence, lost customers, negative word-of-mouth, potential negative publicity, employee dissatisfaction and the direct costs or reperforming the service (Berry & Parasuraman, 1992; Lewis & Clacher, 2001).

To satisfy customers, hotel companies must both provide good products and deliver excellent service. Although the standard of the physical facilities and equipment that hotels provide has been seen to improve over the last few years, there is a widely-held belief that it is the level of service provided that distinguishes successful hotels from unsuccessful or mediocre ones (Morrison, 1996).

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the research reported here was first to identify and classify service failures occurring within the hotel context and to assess customers' perceptions of the seriousness of these failures and their effect on customer satisfaction.

The second objective was to identify and classify the recovery strategies that had been used to redress the service failures encountered and to assess the effect of these strategies on customers' subsequent satisfaction and intended purchase behaviours.

The relationships between these key variables were also to be investigated and tested.

Data Collection

The research methodology chosen to achieve these objectives was the Critical Incident Technique (CIT), first developed by Flanagan (1954) and since widely used and supported as suitable, effective and reliable for this type of research (Lockwood & Gilbert, 1999).

For the purposes of this study, a questionnaire-based approach was adopted. This approach has advantages in terms of the level of detail that can be collected along with simplifying and standardising the data collection process. However, the response rate for such questionnaires delivered by mail is known to be low (Lockwood & Gilbert, 1999) and so the questionnaires were delivered by hand. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Can Service Recovery Help When Service Failures Occur?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.