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Relationship outcomes following a service failure: the role of agent likability

Alexandru Radu (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)
Sara Quach (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)
Park Thaichon (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)
Jiraporn Surachartkumtonkun (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)
Scott Weaven (Department of Marketing, Griffith University–Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 1 March 2022

Issue publication date: 9 February 2023

379

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the effects of likeability of service agents on perceived justice and reconciliation and retaliation as consequences of service failures, taking into consideration the conflict resolution styles that is showing empathy and issuing an apology.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was administered to 630 residents in the United States. The participants were US residents, had experienced a service failure in the prior six months and had complained either in person or by phone call.

Findings

It was found that likeability had a positive effect on both reconciliation and retaliation. Given the likeability of the service agent, interactional justice mitigated retaliation, whereas distributive justice enhanced reconciliation. Furthermore, when a service agent displays a high level of empathy and apology, the positive effect of likeability on distributive justice is intensified.

Originality/value

This study extends the current knowledge concerning the effects of likeability in service recovery by offering a comprehensive framework and practical implications for managers to restore business relationships following a service failure.

Keywords

Citation

Radu, A., Quach, S., Thaichon, P., Surachartkumtonkun, J. and Weaven, S. (2023), "Relationship outcomes following a service failure: the role of agent likability", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 364-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-07-2021-0510

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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