Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions to service failures

by Natália Araújo Pacheco

Institution: Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul
Year: 2016
Keywords: Percepção do cliente; Comportamento do cliente; Falhas; Prestação de serviços
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2134919
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10183/141224


Given the pervasive nature of service failures and their harmful consequences, it is important to understand how customers react to them. This doctoral dissertation addresses some of the customers’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions to service failures. More specifically, it investigates customers’ causal attributions, appraisals, and perceived control as cognitive reactions, as well as a wide range of emotional (e.g., regret, anger, disappointment, etc.) and behavioral reactions (e.g., switch, complaint, negative word-of-mouth, and others). This dissertation presents three different researches within the scope of customers’ reactions to service failure. The first research introduces the temporal model of perceived control from psychology to service research and compares its explanatory power for customer emotional and behavioral reactions with the ones of the widely used causal attribution and appraisal models. Three surveys and one experiment are conducted. The results show that for some customers’ reactions (e.g., regret and switch), the temporal model of perceived control has explanatory power over and above the traditionally used causal attribution and appraisal models. This research also shows that the temporal model of perceived control may be combined with the causal attribution and appraisal models to achieve higher explanatory power. The second research investigates whether failed co-produced services lead to more internal or external causal attribution (i.e., whether the blame is attributed to the customer or the service provider) and how it affects customers’ regret, disappointment, and dissatisfaction. Two experiments are conducted. The results indicate that failed co-produced services lead to more internal attributions than failed services that were not co-produced. Failed co-produced services also lead to lower levels of disappointment and dissatisfaction without elevating customer’s regret level. The results also show that in case of causal uncertainty (i.e., when the customer is not sure about who caused the failure), customers who co-produced experience the same high level of regret of customers who have caused the failure, contradicting the literature that states that causal uncertainty leads to reduced emotional intensity. The third research investigates whether customers’ thought speed affects causal locus attribution for services failures as well as customers’ emotional and behavioral reactions. Four experiments are conducted. The results suggest that customers who think faster make more external attributions for service failures (i.e., attribute more blame to the service provider) than customers who think slower. It seems that thought speed has no effect on customers’ emotional and behavioral reactions though. According to the results, the induced differences in thought speed tend to be short-lived. Overall, these three researches offer insights into some of the things that customers think, how do they feel and act in response to service failures. Theoretical and managerial… Advisors/Committee Members: Santos, Cristiane Pizzutti dos.