Banking industry has no option but to remain observant and redraft the contagion playbook as per the situation evolves owing to COVID-19. Therefore, this study aims to develop a model to examine empirically how effectively complaints are handled to control customer retaliation and negative e-word of mouth (eWOM) in such a pandemic situation, where banking institutions are using social media as a key platform.
A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among 309 participants who had encountered service failure and experienced complaint handling on Facebook. This study draws upon prevailing literature to test a series of hypotheses through structural equation modeling.
The findings show that effective complaint handling has a negative influence on customer retaliation in the social media environment. As a result, customer retaliation was found to have a positive association with negative eWOM. Therefore, this study has revealed that effective complaint handling will lead to decrease in customer retaliation and negative eWOM.
This study carries an understanding of effective complaint handling efforts by leading banks in the social media environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study recommends that customized and effective efforts by the banks can influence customer retaliation and negative e-WOM.
The study is conducted during COVID-19 pandemic considering the impact of COVID-19 on banking sector, which is a new phenomenon. This study has highlighted how banks have modified their working methodology during pandemic situation by using Facebook as a prominent platform to redress customers’ issues and complaints.
Agnihotri, D., Kulshreshtha, K. and Tripathi, V. (2021), "Emergence of social media as new normal during COVID-19 pandemic: a study on innovative complaint handling procedures in the context of banking industry", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIS-10-2020-0199
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited