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Customer and employee views of critical service incidents

Beth G. Chung‐Herrera (Associate Professor, Department of Management, College of Business, at the San Diego State University, San Diego, California, USA)
Nadav Goldschmidt (Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration at the Israeli Center for Academic Studies, Kiriat‐Ono, Israel)
K. Doug Hoffman (Professor, Marketing Department, College of Business at the Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



This study examined perceptual similarities and differences between customers and employees in terms of critical service incidents. Specifically we explored the extent to which customers and employees were similar or different in summary perceptions of service failures and recovery, the attributions made by the two perspectives in terms of causes for failures and recovery efforts, and whether each perspective believed that age, gender or race contributed to service failures or recovery. The critical incidents technique was used to collect 1,512 customer‐reported incidents and 390 employee‐reported incidents. Results revealed that customers and employees had both similar and different views depending on the ultimate outcome of the encounter. Overall, customers and employees were fairly similar in their perceptions regarding failures that ultimately resulted in a good recovery effort. However, the two perspectives differed in their views of service failures that accompanied a poor recovery effort. Conclusions and implications for practice are also provided.



Chung‐Herrera, B.G., Goldschmidt, N. and Doug Hoffman, K. (2004), "Customer and employee views of critical service incidents", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 241-254.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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