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When something goes wrong and no one is around: non‐internet self‐service technology failure and recovery

Lukas P. Forbes (Gordon Ford College of Business, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 4 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on non‐internet‐based self‐service technologies through the presentation of failure and recovery strategies employed by service firms using self‐service forms of interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs the critical incident technique using 508 customer responses to present nine failures and nine recovery strategies used by self‐service technology firms. It presents data on post‐recovery satisfaction levels and propensity to switch behavior. The paper also compares findings in the non‐internet self‐service technology context to findings from e‐tail and bricks and mortar settings.

Findings

Findings indicate that: non‐internet self‐service technology customers experience different types of service failure relative to traditional retail and e‐tail settings; non‐internet self‐service technology firms employ a different series of recovery strategies relative to traditional retail and e‐tail settings; and post‐recovery switching by customers can be high even with satisfying experiences.

Originality/value

This paper strengthens the existing failure and recovery literature by presenting data on the largest growing sector of the service industry, self‐service technologies, and the largest sector within self‐service technologies (non‐internet purchases). These findings will have value to traditional firms looking to expand to their channels in addition to firms currently experiencing customer dissatisfaction.

Keywords

Citation

Forbes, L.P. (2008), "When something goes wrong and no one is around: non‐internet self‐service technology failure and recovery", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 316-327. https://doi.org/10.1108/08876040810881713

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited